New Tappan Zee Bridge

Did you ever wonder why the Tappan Zee Bridge was built at the Hudson River’s widest point? To be as close to New York City as possible, without being within 25 miles of the Statue of Liberty. All bridges and tunnels within 25 miles of Liberty are under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority. Tolls for the Tappan Zee Bridge, 25.2 miles from Liberty, go to the New York State Thruway Authority.

As commuters moved to the suburbs, the Tappan Zee (carrying I-87 and I-287) began to carry far more traffic than its specs had allowed for. Besides that, the bridge is now a decade past its expiration date. Due to metal shortages during the Korean War, the bridge was only designed to last fifty years. Completion of the new bridge is scheduled for 2018.

New Tappan Zee Bridge, projected completion 2018. Photo: NYS Thruway.

New Tappan Zee Bridge; projected completion 2018. Photo: NYS Thruway.

This looks remarkably like the design for the new Kosciuszko Bridge, in Brooklyn. I do hope the new name isn’t “the New NY Bridge” (as the official New York State site calls it), because that would be a stupid stupid name.

Last week I visited Tarrytown, where there’s a viewing platform north of the old and new bridges – far enough away to be safe, but unfortunately too far to get the sort of looming photos that I like for massive projects such as bridges. The photo below shows the towers that will hold the cable stays. The supports for the roadway are in place on the eastern end (outside the photo, to the left).

Tappan Zee Bridge and new bridge under construction, early April 2016. Photo: Dianne L. Durante

Original Tappan Zee Bridge and the new bridge under construction, early April 2016. Photo: Dianne L. Durante

This view posted by New York State shows the roadway extending from the western end.

Aerial view of Tappan Zee Bridge and new bridge, as of late March 2016. Photo: New York State.

Aerial view of Tappan Zee Bridge and new bridge, late March 2016. Photo: New York State.

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Lighthouse at Tarrytown. Photo: Dianne L. Durante

Lighthouse at Tarrytown. Photo: Dianne L. Durante

About Dianne L. Durante

I’m an independent scholar and freelance writer /lecturer on art and art history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are *Innovators in Sculpture¸* a survey of 5,000 years of art in two hours, and *Monuments of Manhattan,* a videoguide app by Guides Who Know that’s based on my book *Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.*

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