Tappan Zee Bridge project ahead of schedule

Construction on the Tappan Zee Bridge in July 2015. Tappan Zee Constructors photo.About 20 miles north of New York City, dredging work has now finished along the eastern shore of the Hudson River, an integral component of the Tappan Zee Bridge project. The completion of the work comes five weeks ahead of a deadline put in place to prevent interference with the spawning cycle for sturgeon.

Tappan Zee Constructors, the prime contractor on the job, had until the end of October to complete this phase of the work, where an estimated 188,000 cu. yards of material was dredged up just south of the existing bridge in water depths ranging from 6’ to 8’.

In the $4 billion Tappan Zee project, two new spans will be built, to replace the existing single span bridge, which opened in December 1955. After this recent dredging, a 24/7 project that began in early August (following on work done in 2013 and 2014), the giant crane “Left Coast Lifter” (towed around from the Bay Area of California by Foss Maritime in April) will now have enough water to come alongside the sections of the present bridge near to the shore. This big behemoth – known on its current mission as “I Lift New York” – with the capability to lift 1900 tons will assist in construction of towers for the two new spans. In 2017, it will aid in removal of the outdated current structure.

The roadways for the new bridges will be supported by steel girders, fabricated at a facility in Coeymans, NY (120 miles farther up the Hudson River), and then barged down to staging areas on the shore. The upstate facility – which is also supplying rock for stabilizing the Hudson River bed – is owned by Carver Construction. (Carver’s fleet includes the tug Helen Laraway, well known to observers on the Hudson.)

Procurement records indicate contract awards for towing and barging to Construction and Marine Equipment, and Henry Marine Service. Interport Towing was contracted for onsite tugboat services, and Sterling Marine Equipment was engaged for barge chartering. Weeks Marine was awarded a group of contracts. Boats spotted working on its completed dredging work include Dawn ServicesBaltic Dawn.

About the author

Barry Parker

Barry Parker is a maritime consultant and writer. He covers shipping, energy and commodities, drawing on three decades of transactional and brokerage experience. His writing covers financing aspects of shipping and offshore, plus occasional technical or regulatory articles. His client work for ship owners, cargo interests and others includes project and market analysis, as well as commercial and operational guidance. He divides his time between midtown Manhattan and his home on Long Island Sound. He can be reached at bdp1@conconnect.com.

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