The first of 1,000 giant piles that will support the new Tappan Zee Bridge are now being embedded in the Hudson River, the Journal News reported today.
“This week, we are putting shovels in the ground and starting formal construction on a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee, the largest infrastructure project New York State has undertaken in decades,” Cuomo said in a statement. “After more than a decade of delay, New York State has moved this project forward at a dramatic pace while working with the community, involving the public and protecting the local environment.
Project officials also announced Wednesday that cameras mounted around the construction site will be stream views of the work online at NewNYbridge.com.
The Journal News reported that crews are working around the clock to drive 64 steel piles, each weighing some 90 tons, into the river’s bottom.
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Each pile has two sections that are installed on top of each other and then welded together. The river is about 250 feet deep where crews are currently working.
Pile driving, which will take about a year to complete, will be done at five locations on the river, said Walter Reichert, Tappan Zee Constructors’ project manager.
The permanent work comes after months of rigorous testing to ensure the piles are strong enough to hold the new superstructure and its traffic, Reichert said. The piles were tested to handle loads of more than 7 million pounds, he said.
They were also built to be able to withstand an earthquake or the impact of a ship.
“The engineers design for the worst-case scenario,” he said.
The piles “tested to what we predicted,” he said. “The geotechnical engineers did a good job.”