First Span of New Tappan Zee Bridge to Open August 25

The first half of the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement will open August 25. (Photo: New York State Thruway Authority)  

The first span of New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge replacement — officially renamed the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (after current Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo) — will open to westbound traffic on August 25, Gov. Cuomo recently announced. The twin-span steel crossing, which is on track to open next year and on budget at $3.98 billion, is one of the biggest active bridge projects in the nation and the largest in the history of the New York State Thruway Authority.

“The opening of the first span of the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge next month is a clear message that after decades of stagnation, New York is building our transportation infrastructure better, safer and more efficiently than ever,” said Gov. Cuomo. “This major milestone in the project to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge will be the first step in alleviating congestion for commuters while offering a state-of-the-art link over the Hudson River, built to last for generations to come.”

The Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors will shift four lanes of westbound/northbound traffic to the new span on Friday night, August 25. The second step of moving four lanes of eastbound/southbound traffic to that span will begin later this fall. Four lanes of traffic in each direction will be separated by a concrete barrier, a traffic pattern that will remain in effect until the second crossing is complete and both spans of the bridge open, which is scheduled to happen next year.

The bridge project is recognized across the nation for its iconic design, including by former president Barack Obama, who put the bridge at the top of his list of critical infrastructure projects. The 3.1-mile crossing will connect Westchester and Rockland counties and serve as the main conduit between Upstate and the New York City metropolitan region. In all, more than 6,300 people have contributed to the project thus far, totaling more than 8 million hours of manpower. At the Governor’s direction, the Thruway Authority has managed this project since 2013 with two fundamental objectives: 1) open the bridge in 2018 and 2) finish the bridge at or below the budgeted cost of $3.98 billion. In fact, the design-build approach generated more than $1 billion in savings compared to initial state and federal cost estimates.

Three AISC/NSBA member fabricators — High Steel Structures, Hirschfeld Industries and Canam-Bridges — have together provided more than 110,000 tons of structural steel for the project. In addition, 160,000 tons of steel plate for both the superstructure and sheet pilings was produced in the U.S. by AISC member producer ArcelorMittal.

For more about the project, visit