The Tappan Zee is coming to Webster …?

6 Aug
Tappan Zee 2

The Tappan Zee Bridge construction site

Did you ever drive over the Tappan Zee Bridge? You just might have that chance before too long, because the bridge might be coming to Webster.

Sort of.

You may have heard that the Tappan Zee Bridge, which spans the Hudson River just north of New York City, was recently replaced. You can imagine the number of surplus girders and deck panels that resulted.  It would be a shame to have wasted them. Thanks to some outstanding foresight by the Thruway Authority and other Powers That Be, many of those salvaged deck panels may soon be part of a new bridge in Webster.

I got in touch with County Bridge Engineer Bo Mansouri, from the Monroe County Department of Transportation, who explained how this all came about. He wrote,

We recently accepted delivery of 31 bridge panels that we had requested from the NYSTA (Thruway Authority). We have them in our storage now. This process started back in October 2014, before the new bridge construction began. Back then, all municipalities in the State were asked for their interest in obtaining the salvaged deck panels for use in their future capital improvement projects!! They are only 7-13 years old, and in excellent condition.

It cost the County only $1 to buy, and have the 31 panels delivered and dropped off at our storage site, thanks to FHWA and NYSTA, the project sponsors. It was their goal to have as many of these panels salvaged, and put to good use, as possible. It is estimated that for every three panels that will be used in future Monroe County Capital Bridge Projects, roughly $150-250,000 will be saved.

135 panels are being distributed to 13 agencies across the State, with Monroe County accepting 31 of them, the most number by far! Monroe County aggressively pursued the opportunity to grab as many of these panels as we could store, to use in future maintenance and capital improvement bridge projects, The 12′ wide by 50′ long prefabricated concrete-deck-on-galvanized-beams panels are perfect for most medium span bridges in the County. Other local agencies have since heard about and now asking us for them. Monroe County will consider sharing them with other local government, a stipulation made in an agreement with the NYSTA. These panels will be for use in public works projects only and are not to be sold or given to private enterprises.

Tappan Zee 1

Typical panel being delivered to the county

Plans are currently in the works to replace the 1952-era Salt Road Bridge over Four Mile Creek, just south of Lake Road. The bridge has been identified as a possible site for using these former Tappan Zee Bridge deck panels. The project is still in the design and approval process, but if everything goes as planned, construction should begin in the summer of 2020.

What a great way to recycle perfectly good construction materials and save taxpayers a ton of money to boot. And how cool it will be driving over that bridge, knowing you might have driven over those same panels when they were part of the old Tappan Zee.

Many thanks to Bo Mansouri for this information and the great photos.

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2 Responses to “The Tappan Zee is coming to Webster …?”

  1. Robert cotnoir August 7, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    How about selling bridge parts to collectors? Can I get a small piece?

    • websterontheweb August 7, 2018 at 8:28 am #

      That’s an interesting question. You should contact the Monroe County DOT about that.

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