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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 10, 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 97 percent of the deck panels in this contract have been replaced. 

As of this morning, all thicker steel plates in the northbound direction have been removed. A thin steel plate remains, however, in the northbound direction which will be removed before the Christmas holiday.

On or about this evening, Wednesday, December 10, the remaining southbound deck panels and expansion joint replacement work is expected to begin, weather permitting.  During the southbound work, thicker temporary steel plates will be placed over the two right lanes and asphalt transition ramps leading up to the plates will be installed.  Also, five southbound lanes will be provided to ease congestion during the weekday peak morning commuter hours, beginning at 6:00 a.m. until 8:15 a.m., similar to the configuration which was first implemented on Thursday, October 23. 

Upon completion of this phase, it is anticipated that all temporary steel plates in both the northbound and southbound directions will be removed in the end of December, prior to the Christmas holiday.

The expansion joint replacement work for the three joints on the main span in both directions and the middle three lanes on the Tappan Zee Bridge, including the main span and west deck truss, will resume in Spring 2009 and is expected to take approximately three months 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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