Steel Shots: Making Connections

A 375-ton structural steel section was installed on the New NY Bridge last week. The segment is the first connection between the cable-stayed main span and the Westchester approach. (Photos: New York State Thruway Authority) 

A critical section of structural steel was installed on the New NY Bridge project last week. The segment is the first connection between the cable-stayed main span and the pier-supported approaches, marking another major accomplishment for the project team.

Weighing 375 tons, the steel section was prepared off-site at the project’s Tomkins Cove facility, allowing Tappan Zee Constructors to accomplish most of the assembly work on land, rather than over the water. It was then barged directly to the project site for installation. The operation lasted only a few hours, with the section successfully placed between the westbound main span and Westchester approach.

TZC will follow with another connection between the westbound main span and the Rockland approach. Each 95-ft-wide steel section will be connected to the main span towers with six stay cables, which will be anchored and tensioned. TZC will also install precast concrete deck panels on the steel sections to provide a base driving surface.

In the coming months, the project team will complete the westbound main span with additional sections of structural steel between the main span towers.

The new bridge is being built by Tappan Zee Constructors, a design-build LLC composed of Fluor Corporation, American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros. Three AISC/NSBA member fabricators--High Steel Structures, Hirschfeld Industries and Canam-Bridges--will together provide more than 110,000 tons of structural steel while playing a key role in the support of more than 7,700 jobs. And just as the fabrication was provided domestically, so too was the steel production, with 160,000 tons of steel plate for both the superstructure and sheet pilings coming from AISC member producer ArcelorMittal. The design-build approach generated more than $1 billion in savings compared to initial state and federal cost estimates.

You can read more about the project in our previous post, “New Tappan Zee Bridge Reaches Steel Milestone” and by visiting