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For Immediate Release: November 6, 2008

Thruway Authority Announces Updated Schedule For Tappan Zee Bridge Deck Replacement Project

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced an updated schedule for the deck replacement project on the Tappan Zee Bridge for the remainder of this year.  This project is part of the Authority’s on-going commitment to continue to fulfill its responsibility to maintain and operate the bridge by continuing to make the necessary investments to assure safe and efficient travel for the thousands of motorists that cross the bridge daily.

The deck replacement project will replace approximately 40 percent of the entire deck, focusing on the two right outside lanes in each direction from the Rockland County shore through the main span.

At this time, over 90 percent of the deck panels in this contract have been replaced.  Also, the work to replace the expansion joints in the southbound direction of the bridge is underway, which required thicker temporary steel plates to be installed on the bridge.  It is anticipated that this initial phase of the southbound joint work will be completed by Friday evening, November 7, 2008, at which time all the thicker temporary plates will be removed in the southbound travel lanes. Several thin temporary steel plates will still remain in the southbound direction, similar to those plates that have been in place since 2007.

Beginning on Saturday, November 8 until approximately Monday, December 8, work will begin in the northbound direction to replace the expansion joints and the deck panels.  During the northbound work, thicker temporary steel plates will be placed over the two right lanes. At the completion of this phase, it is anticipated that all temporary thick steel plates will be removed from the northbound lanes.

On or about Tuesday, December 9 the remaining southbound deck panel and expansion joint replacement work is expected to begin and it is anticipated that this portion of the project will be completed by the end of December. This final phase of work for 2008 will also require thicker temporary plates to be installed over the right two southbound lanes for approximately two weeks.  During that two week period, five southbound lanes will be provided to ease congestion during the weekday peak morning commuter hours, similar to the configuration which has been in place since in place since Thursday, October 23.  Upon completion of this phase, all temporary thick steel plates related to the deck replacement project will then be removed.

The expansion joint replacement work for the middle three lanes on the Tappan Zee Bridge will resume in Spring 2009 and is expected to take approximately one month to complete. The Authority will continue to issue updates as the work progresses.

The Authority appreciates the motorists’ patience while this critical work continues. 

For the safety of the public and construction workers, motorists are urged to proceed with caution and obey posted work-zone speed limits.  Work will proceed weather-permitting, and schedule updates will be announced as needed.

Traffic updates will be broadcast to motorists via Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) along the highway and by Highway Advisory Radio, 530 AM in the Tappan Zee Bridge corridor, as well as 1610 AM in the Newburgh area.

Motorists may also sign up to receive email and text message traffic updates from the Thruway Authority’s TRANSalert system.  Anyone may subscribe to the free service at www.nysthruway.gov/tas by clicking on “Sign Up for TRANSalert emails.”

When complete, the new deck, along with related repairs to the superstructure, lighting, and rail will provide more reliable service, increase safety and add convenience for motorists using this vital east-west corridor.

The Authority has implemented a number of measures to reduce the impact on motorists, preserve traffic flow, shorten the project duration, and reduce on-site noise levels.  Much of the work is being completed during off-peak, overnight shifts, generally from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and redecking materials are being manufactured off-site with delivery just in time for installation.

The three-mile Tappan Zee Bridge, located about 13 miles north of New York City, carries the New York State Thruway over the Hudson River, between Rockland and Westchester Counties. The structure serves as a lifeline between New York City and Upstate New York. The bridge carries over 140,000 vehicles every day, with volumes as high as 170,000 vehicles daily. When the bridge opened in 1955, it carried an average of 18,000 vehicles daily.

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