The NYS Thruway Authority, Tappan Zee Constructors, and bridge spokesperson Brian Conybeare invited the media Tuesday morning on another boat tour to witness up close the preconstruction work underway for the new bridge.
Two bright yellow Thruway vans were off by 10 a.m. departing from the Tarrytown-based state police barracks lot to the dock. These barracks and the Thruway buildings they share are slated for tear-down to make way for the new bridge. Surveyors were there this morning taking measurements for this very work.
We went over the bridge to the Nyack side. Here, at bridge base, we loaded onto a very old looking "Tappan Zee II" in our hard hats and life vests. The Thruway dock and its surroundings still looked a little war torn from Hurricane Sandy which more than covered the dock and the area last October.
There are several barges positioned along the span, one doing geotechnical investigations in the "muck," basically, others awaiting construction work. Too small for pile driving, these boats are set to do support and concrete work.
Then we made our way to the trestle, a temporary bridge being built off the Tarrytown shore since they can't dredge to bring barges this close to land.
Tappan Landing neighbors have lodged two formal noise complaints thus far, Conybeare said, though the pilings go in mostly by a new and substantially quieter vibratory hammering technique, which we witness as they build this trestle before us.
There are a few dozen workers out here now but at peak we may see up to 100 barges at once, 25 or so with cranes, expected by mid-year next year.
Water boring work is done. Test piling will begin by late June or early July. Dredging has to follow a tight timeline of August 1 through November 1, respecting sturgeon rituals.
Meanwhile the deck replacement work on the existing bridge is complete and crews are removing the temporary shielding under the Erector-set-like span.