Prep work begins for New Tappan Zee Bridge

Pile-driving demonstration will yield data about the river bottom

Bridges News New York State DOT March 15, 2012
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New Yorkers will soon begin to see the first physical manifestations of preparatory work for the future Tappan Zee Bridge.


Contractors began an extensive pile-driving project along the path of the new proposed bridge March 13 as the latest milestone for the New Tappan Zee Bridge Project.


New York Thruway Executive Director Thomas J. Madison was joined by Rockland County Legislative Chairwoman Harriett Cornell to view the new river work firsthand.


This “smart early work” on the river will allow the project to maintain the fast-track schedule Gov. Andrew Cuomo has encouraged and enable the proposers to fine-tune their bids. This project will generate very detailed information about the composition and characteristics of the river bottom, thereby saving the state time and money once the contract is awarded in August. Cuomo’s schedule envisions breaking ground in early fall.


Two separate contracts jointly administered by New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority are now under way. They will enable proposers to properly gauge the depths, composition and physical characteristics they will encounter as they plan their bids. This data is critical when they begin to plan the first phase of construction, the footings, for their design build proposals.


The first was a boring demonstration to ascertain the material composition of the riverbed and involved a series of 55 separate drilling operations where core samples were removed and analyzed. These consisted of mud, sand, shale and bedrock samples.


The second is a pile-driving project that will determine load capacity at seven strategic locations in the future path of the new bridge. These are extremely important because they will enable the proposers to gauge how many supports and at what depth and distance the footings have to be placed.


More information about the project can be found at

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