In an impressive feat of manpower, sweat and constantly moving trucks and machinery, it's now possible to drive across the new Tappan Zee Bridge several months ahead of its planned opening, according to a New York Times report.
That's not to say the bridge will open anytime soon. Several months still officially remain before four lanes will be opened to vehicles traveling west from Westchester County to Rockland County sometime this fall.
Westchester-bound commuters will continue using the existing bridge for a few months before they share the new crossing while the old bridge is dismantled.
But before all of that can happen, much work is still needed in a few short months including the application of the one-and-a-half-inch coating of state-of-the-art asphalt and the addition of stainless steel fencing to deter jumpers.
This week, the installation of the concrete noise barrier panels along the New York State Thruway in South Nyack were completed. The barriers still need to be treated with a sound-absorbing material to further reduce traffic noise in the nearby community.
In addition, work near the Rockland landing will require the use of a mobile crane in the median separating the Thruway’s north and southbound lanes that will cause a lane closure beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, officials said.
And like a giant puzzle, each step of work will continue until near the end of next year when the second parallel crossing, which still has two large gaps in its steel frame, is expected to open. It will carry Westchester-bound traffic, while the first span returns to Rockland-bound cars only, the Times said.
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