Client
New York Thruway Authority
Location
Hudson River North of New York City, NY, U.S.

Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is being designed and built by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), a consortium of some of the world's best-known and most highly-regarded design, engineering and construction firms, including Fluor, American Bridge, Granite, and Traylor Bros., along with key design firms HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS, and GZA. TZC is working closely on the project with a team of employees from the New York State Thruway Authority and the State Department of Transportation.

The 3.1 mile twin span cable-stayed bridge is the single largest bridge construction project in New York's history and one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. The bridge will revitalize the existing Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge that connects Rockland County to Westchester County over the Hudson River.

Almost 6,000 steel-reinforced precast-concrete panels, each about 12 ft. long and up to 45 ft. wide, were placed on the steel-girder system, supported by 68 football-field-sized pile caps, precast by Cape Charles, Virginia-based Bayshore Concrete Products. Crews placed the last of the 300-ton pile caps in the summer of 2015, reinforcing each cap with galvanized steel and sealing with up to 750 cu. yd. of concrete.


In February 2016, four 645-ton crossbeams were erected using the famed Left Coast Lifter, which is one of the largest floating cranes in the world.


Work began on main span steel in June 2016 with the installation of four large pre-assembled sections of steel, weighing nearly 340,000 pounds each, atop the main span crossbeams. In July 2016, TZC completed installation the first stay cables. Each side of the bridge's towers requires 12 pairs of stay cables to support the main span roadway, utilizing 700 miles of metal strands in total.

In December 2016, TZC announced the completion of all eight 419-foot concrete towers. The towers will support the 2,230-foot cable-stayed main span.


In August 2017, the first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opened to Rockland-bound traffic. In fall 2017, four lanes of southbound/eastbound traffic will be shifted onto the new bridge.

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Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge - Fluor
Client's Challenge

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is needed because the number of vehicles crossing the bridge every day far exceeds the number it was designed to handle, traffic jams and delays are a regular occurrence, accident rates are high, and maintenance costs on the old bridge were expected to be $3 to 4 billion over the next 20 years. The bridge carries 140,000 vehicles daily. Approximately 50 million vehicles crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge in 2016.

After more than a decade of delay, the new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee is becoming a reality. The new bridge will be designed and constructed to last 100 years without major structural maintenance.

The new bridge will be a visually striking, recognizable landmark, and one of the widest cable-stayed structures of its kind in the world.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will mean less congestion for motorists, with eight traffic lanes, four breakdown/emergency lanes, and state-of-the-art traffic monitoring systems, as well as a dedicated commuter bus lane from the day it opens. Designed and constructed to be mass-transit-ready, the new crossing will be able to accommodate bus rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail. The bridge will also include a bike and pedestrian path.

The total cost of the new project far less than initially expected. The design-build contract for the bridge will help keep the project on-budget and on-time, because financial risk associated with most cost overruns or schedule delays lies with the contractor, rather than toll payers or taxpayers.

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Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge - Fluor
Fluor's Solution

TZC is a strategically formed consortium of design-builders created to deliver the best project team to successfully build the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge on time and within budget while achieving the highest environmental standards.

The TZC team partnership is based on aligning cultures within each firm that will steer the strategic planning throughout the project. These key cultures shared by the team start with a no-nonsense outlook on safety.

TZC team members all share excellent safety records and invest great resources and planning to ensure that each employee is trained and prepared to work in a safe environment.

TZC has set aside 10 percent of the total project budget as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal, which equates to about $314 million in subcontract opportunities. DBEs are encouraged to attend TZC's monthly orientation meetings, where they can meet with DBE program and procurement team members.


Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge - Fluor
Conclusion

TZC is proud to have been selected to design and build the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The team understands the importance of this project to the New York area and is committed to supplement the New York State Thru Authority's Public Information Plan with a proactive approach to public involvement and community outreach.

Construction began in late 2013 and is expected to be complete in 2018. The first span opened to drivers in August 2017, shifting all four westbound lanes of traffic from the existing bridge. The four eastbound lanes will be shifted onto the new span in fall 2017, making way for demolition of the old bridge and advancing construction on the adjacent new span.

The second span is scheduled to be completed next year. After completion, all four eastbound lanes of traffic will be shifted to the second span. In the final configuration, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will carry eight general traffic lanes, breakdown/emergency lanes, space for future bus rapid transit and commuter rail, and an advanced traffic monitoring system.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States and will be the largest bridge in New York State history.

Sources: www.newnybridge.com and tappanzeeconstructors.com

Photos Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority.