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A Bridge That Has Nowhere Left to Go (NY's Tappan Zee Bridge)
NY Times ^ | January 17, 2006 | PATRICK McGEEHAN

Posted on 01/17/2006 8:15:41 PM PST by neverdem

The Tappan Zee Bridge, the most critical transportation link across the Hudson River north of New York City, is not even half as old as the Brooklyn Bridge, but its warranty has already expired.

Started on the cheap during the Korean War, the Tappan Zee was deliberately built to last just 50 years. It passed that milestone last month, just days after transportation planners began gathering public advice about how to fix or replace it.

But the decaying, overburdened span's anniversary was more bitter than sweet. Little love has been lost between the Tappan Zee and the tens of thousands of commuters who depend on it. They complain about the poor condition of its roadway and the backups caused by every breakdown and flat tire.

Even before it was built, the bridge's own designers said it would be one of the "ugliest" in the region. Half a century later, the Tappan Zee has not aged gracefully. There are cracks in its concrete columns, its superstructure is rusting away and its deck is nearly worn through.

The New York State Thruway Authority, which owns the 3.1-mile-long bridge carrying the Thruway over the Hudson, has said that the deck, some structural steel, the concrete walkway and electrical systems have "deteriorated significantly." The authority plans to spend more than $100 million next year just to patch the bridge's holes and replace some of its corroded steel, a process sure to make travel even slower for commuters.

Catching daily glimpses of the long cracks in the bridge's superstructure frightens Brett Ruskin, who drives from his home in Monsey across the Tappan Zee to Tarrytown, where he catches a Metro-North train to Grand Central Terminal. "My biggest concern is not so much the traffic, because the big problem with the Tappan Zee Bridge is it's..."

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bridge; bridges; building; commuting; construction; rehabilitation; restoration; tappanzee; tappanzeebridge; tunnels; tz; tzb
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Librado Romero/The New York Times
The Tappan Zee Bridge was built to last only 50 years, and its time is up, with its roadway deteriorating and superstructure rusting.

Librado Romero/The New York Times
The Tappan Zee Bridge has exceeded its planned life. But the question of how to repair or replace it is still far from resolved.

1 posted on 01/17/2006 8:15:44 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

What if they build a tunnel? I heard that worked out great in Boston.


2 posted on 01/17/2006 8:18:35 PM PST by Richard Kimball (Look, Daddy! Teacher says every time a Kennedy talks, a Republican gets a house seat!)
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To: Richard Kimball

DON'T give them any ideas! I'm a NY taxpayer!!!


3 posted on 01/17/2006 8:22:28 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: cyborg; Clemenza; Cacique; NYCVirago; The Mayor; Darksheare; hellinahandcart; Chode; ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off my New York ping list. Here's some good news.

Steve Malzberg returns to the New York airwaves.

4 posted on 01/17/2006 8:25:20 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Richard Kimball
What if they build a tunnel? I heard that worked out great in Boston.

oh oh pick me. They can make prefab tunnel sections and sink em in the river, that will make the construction go by so much faster and cheaper.

5 posted on 01/17/2006 8:25:39 PM PST by commish (Freedom Tastes Sweetest to Those Who Have Fought to Preserve It)
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To: neverdem

Translation: "We need $150 Billion ASAP. Send it now."


6 posted on 01/17/2006 8:26:05 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (A Liberal: One who demands half of your pie because he didn't bake one.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

Aren't most of the bridges in NYC toll bridges? You would think that with the money they collect in tolls they could build a new bridge with no problem.


7 posted on 01/17/2006 8:29:33 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack

the toll money goes to subsidize mass transit, and pay the pensions of the TBTA and MTA workers.


8 posted on 01/17/2006 8:32:04 PM PST by oceanview
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To: scrabblehack
Last toll I paid on a NYC bridge was $10, this to drive half a mile. It's a racket. They always want more, and the East Coast sheeple always pay.

PS: California is equally bad, trust me.

9 posted on 01/17/2006 8:32:44 PM PST by Mad_Tom_Rackham (A Liberal: One who demands half of your pie because he didn't bake one.)
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To: neverdem

the reason they don't build a new one is because of the NIMBYs on either side who don't want it. they block it, and tie it up in the courts with environmental impact studies - while the current bridge decays.


10 posted on 01/17/2006 8:33:55 PM PST by oceanview
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To: oceanview

Robert Moses would know how to handle NIMBYs!


11 posted on 01/17/2006 8:34:57 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham

'built to last only 50 years'

Dumb from the get go.

http://www.mackinacbridge.org/



12 posted on 01/17/2006 8:35:36 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham; scrabblehack
"Last toll I paid on a NYC bridge was $10, this to drive half a mile. "

Ditto that. I drove from La Guardia airport to Connecticut recently and had to cross three bridges. Total toll was $20. I was on business so I expensed it but can you imagine if that was what you paid to commute? $40/day, $200/week, $10,000/year. I wouldn't live in NYC for $300K/year.

13 posted on 01/17/2006 8:37:37 PM PST by tom h
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To: Westlander

Anything built during the Korean war is not really "top quality"...obviously


14 posted on 01/17/2006 8:38:58 PM PST by se_ohio_young_conservative (We have a mission from beyond the stars to spread freedom.)
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To: neverdem

I went to high school just one town south of the Tappan Zee Bridge (go Bulldogs) and I still go up to Westchester/Rockland as often as I can, using the TAppan Zee Bridge fiarly often. I haven't seen any problem with it. It's a great bridge, and if you look to your right crossing from the west, you can see the skyline. (Of course, there seem to be a couple of things missing from the skyline.)


15 posted on 01/17/2006 8:40:21 PM PST by TBP
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To: Westlander
"Dumb from the get go."

That's what's bugging me - why build a bridge designed for only 50 years' use in the first place? That doesn't even make good nonsense.

As an aside, my wife grew up in St Ignace, and she'll be tickled pink to see this link of the Mac - many thanks for it.
16 posted on 01/17/2006 8:43:45 PM PST by decal (Mother Nature and Real Life are conservatives; the Progs have never figured this out.)
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To: scrabblehack
Aren't most of the bridges in NYC toll bridges?

No, just some of the major bridges are toll bridges.

You would think that with the money they collect in tolls they could build a new bridge with no problem.

This bridge is 15 - 20 miles north of the northern limit of NY City.

Q: How many bridges are there in New York City? How many are under the jurisdiction of DOT?
A: There are 2,027 bridges in New York City. DOT's Division of Bridges is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the 790 bridges (including 6 tunnels) and 67 culverts presently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation.

17 posted on 01/17/2006 8:46:08 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: tom h

[quote]Ditto that. I drove from La Guardia airport to Connecticut recently and had to cross three bridges. Total toll was $20.[/quote]

You were taken. You should have taken only one bridge between LaGuardia and Connecticut. The Whitestone or the Throgs Neck Bridge.


18 posted on 01/17/2006 8:48:56 PM PST by Steven Scharf
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To: tom h

You must have taken a cab. Only have to cross one bridge to get to CT. from LAG. Either the Whitestone or the Throggs Neck. That cabby saw you commin'!


19 posted on 01/17/2006 8:49:16 PM PST by Roccus
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To: neverdem
One proposed design for a new Tappan Zee bridge.


20 posted on 01/17/2006 8:49:35 PM PST by fallujah-nuker (America needs more SAC and less empty sacs.)
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To: oceanview
the reason they don't build a new one is because of the NIMBYs on either side who don't want it. they block it, and tie it up in the courts with environmental impact studies - while the current bridge decays.

Being from CT, when I have to drive to points south I usually take the TZ over to either the Palisades or Garden State. I just started to notice some of the rather large homes going up on the west side just south of the bridge so I can only imagine they've got their lawyers all tee'd up for a fight.

Anyway, it's so nice to know I could wind up swimming my way across one of these trips. Maybe Uncle Teddy could give some seminars on how to survive that. Cheers!
21 posted on 01/17/2006 8:50:29 PM PST by RedCell
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To: tom h

Yes, and I'm sure you enjoyed 360 degree view of the Statue of Liberty you were privileged to see in your travels to the airport.


22 posted on 01/17/2006 8:51:09 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: neverdem
Spending $100 million to patch up something thats falling apart?

Breathtaking ignorance even for new york!
23 posted on 01/17/2006 8:52:07 PM PST by brainstem223
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To: brainstem223

if it collapses, hundreds of people will die.


24 posted on 01/17/2006 8:52:47 PM PST by oceanview
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To: brainstem223

In the grand scheme of things in NYC, $100 million isn't all that much.


25 posted on 01/17/2006 8:53:51 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: durasell
Talk about a Bridge Over Troubled Water. This takes the cake. :)
26 posted on 01/17/2006 8:55:58 PM PST by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: brainstem223
Replacing the bridge is likely to cost somewhere north of $4 billion, so $100 million -- at 1/40th of its replacement cost -- isn't such a big deal.
27 posted on 01/17/2006 8:56:22 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
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To: writer33

This is the way the story ends: after much hand wringing and debate along with various and sundry accusations, the bridge gets fixed at great expense and cost over-runs. Several contractors, sub-contractors and various consultants get to send their kids to Ivy League schools, their wives to Paris, and their mistresses to Tiffany's.


28 posted on 01/17/2006 8:58:27 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: scrabblehack
Most of the bridges within NYC are toll-free, at least they were the last time I was there, 2004. All the East and Harlem River bridges, about ten or more, are toll free. Not to mention all the small bridges over various waterways that wend through B'klyn, Queens and the Bronx. Verazano, Whitestone, Throggs Neck, Tri-Borough, Vets Mem. and Gil Hodges are toll. Bridges that go from the city to NJ...Goethals, Outerbridge Crossing and George Washington are toll.
29 posted on 01/17/2006 9:00:17 PM PST by Roccus
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To: neverdem

Reason #1317 why I am not in charge of anything:

Declare it unsafe and close it!


30 posted on 01/17/2006 9:02:26 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: durasell
Several contractors, sub-contractors and various consultants get to send their kids to Ivy League schools, their wives to Paris, and their mistresses to Tiffany's.

No, kidding. Bid that prevailing wage. $30/hour to lift that shovel.

:) HA!

31 posted on 01/17/2006 9:02:56 PM PST by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
Last toll I paid on a NYC bridge was $10, this to drive half a mile.

No way. MTA Bridges and Tunnels New Toll Rates

http://www.panynj.gov/tbt/TOLL_RATES.pdf

32 posted on 01/17/2006 9:03:40 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
Here's an interesting little bit of trivia about that bridge.

If you look at the aerial photo in the first post, you'll notice the bridge has an odd S-shaped horizontal alignment. Anyone who knows the geography of that area might also wonder why the bridge was built across the widest point along the Hudson River (the term "Zee" is Dutch for "sea"). The bridge was built at that location because it is just outside the northern boundary of the official Port Authority of New York and New Jersey region (roughly defined as a region within a 25-mile radius of the Statue of Liberty) -- so the New York Thruway Authority didn't have the legal authority to collect tolls on a bridge that was constructed any further to the south.

33 posted on 01/17/2006 9:04:49 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
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To: writer33

Oh, no, no, no, no...you have a lot to learn about NYC construction. The bridge has to be repaired at night when traffic is light. That $60 an hour (minimum). But that's not where the real money is -- the real money is in all the subcontracting and consulting work.


34 posted on 01/17/2006 9:05:10 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: neverdem
There are cracks in its concrete columns, its superstructure is rusting away and its deck is nearly worn through.

Drivers better be prepared to Tappan Zee brakes...

35 posted on 01/17/2006 9:06:40 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (I shot the SHERiff, but...I. I shot the sherIFFFF, but...I shot THE sheriff, but...I shot the...)
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To: Victoria Delsoul

New York ping.


36 posted on 01/17/2006 9:09:07 PM PST by Alberta's Child (Said the night wind to the little lamb . . . "Do you see what I see?")
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To: neverdem

That 2027 number includes all overpasses of roadways, railroads etc. I believe it may also include all pedestrian overpasses.
You know, it's funny, they call Pittsburgh the "City of Bridges" but it doesn't come close to Fun City in volume.


37 posted on 01/17/2006 9:10:19 PM PST by Roccus (You can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy.)
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To: fallujah-nuker

Thanks for the pic!


38 posted on 01/17/2006 9:14:30 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Alberta's Child

Also, that very long stretch to the west of the span is over some very shallow water. I found that out the hard way in one of my boats! There is a reason they make charts. {:^(


39 posted on 01/17/2006 9:14:38 PM PST by Roccus (You can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy.)
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To: durasell
This is not a NYC bridge!
40 posted on 01/17/2006 9:16:21 PM PST by Roccus (You can take the boy out of the city but you can't take the city out of the boy.)
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To: Roccus

No, but it's gonna be a NYC construction project -- if you get my drift.


41 posted on 01/17/2006 9:17:30 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: neverdem

Sorry, but I don't care. After the slamming AK took because someone came up with a catchy phrase about a "Bridge to Nowhere"....well, ignorance travels REAL fast in the MSM and cyberspace.

No offense to you, neverdem. :)


42 posted on 01/17/2006 9:18:54 PM PST by Chena (I'm not young enough to know everything.)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Well, the trick is to get folks in South Dakota to pay for it.


43 posted on 01/17/2006 9:19:09 PM PST by kylaka
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To: durasell

I understand what you're saying, but 'taint necessarily so. The Thruway Auth. is an Albany creation. Albany plays by its own rules. (but I'm not saying they're going to be much better)


44 posted on 01/17/2006 9:21:49 PM PST by Roccus
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To: kylaka

Ya know -- as a New Yorker I get a little tired of being accused of not paying our own way. As it turns out, South Dakota is on life support from the Federal gov't -- no doubt partially financed by New Yorkers.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/62.html


45 posted on 01/17/2006 9:22:43 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: Roccus

Truthfully, I forgot that it was a thruway thing in my rush to crack wise. So, you were right and I was wrong. Kudos.

However, I still think it'll probably go over like a NYC construction project. Maybe Albany will do a bond issue.


46 posted on 01/17/2006 9:24:30 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: kylaka

NAH. NY is one of those states that never gets back near what it sends to DC. That's one reason I moved to WV. I wanted to drive on all those beautiful roads I paid for! }:^P


47 posted on 01/17/2006 9:26:14 PM PST by Roccus
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To: Roccus

According to the Tax Foundation West Virginia gets back a $1.52 for every buck it sends to DC. NY gets back 80 cents.


48 posted on 01/17/2006 9:29:16 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: durasell

"Maybe Albany will do a bond issue."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course they will.
And I'm sure that these bonds will be priced so that ordinary citizens can purchase them, (/s)


49 posted on 01/17/2006 9:29:51 PM PST by Roccus
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To: durasell

YUP! Now it's my turn.


50 posted on 01/17/2006 9:30:54 PM PST by Roccus
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