The first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is open. The iconic twin-span cable-stayed crossing
“The new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is much more than a magnificent, cutting-edge structure, it is a symbol for this state and this nation. The opening of this new span shows the world that we have our energy and our boldness back, that we will continue to accomplish greats things, and that we are building bigger and better than we have in decades,” Governor Cuomo said. “Excelsior reminds us that the motto of this state says reach even higher, and we’re not only building a new bridge with this in mind – we are building a new state and a stronger economy. This historic project is providing quality jobs, hope and opportunity to both residents and visitors of this state, and I look forward to future generations of New Yorkers crossing the Hudson River on this new bridge for the next 100 years.”
The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge partially opened to four lanes of Rockland-bound traffic overnight on Friday, August 25. For the next few months, northbound/westbound drivers on the New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) will cross the Hudson River on the new bridge, while southbound/eastbound drivers will use the old bridge, each having four traffic lanes available. Later this fall, the new bridge will completely replace the 62-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge when four lanes of Westchester-bound traffic are also shifted onto the first span.
After all traffic has been shifted onto the first span, design-builder Tappan Zee Constructors will demolish the landings of the old bridge, which occupy the same footprint of the second span, and connect the second span to land. When completed, drivers will reap the full benefits of the 3.1-mile twin-span, which will include: Eight general traffic lanes; Four breakdown and emergency lanes; Space for future bus rapid transit and commuter rail; A bicycle and walking path with six unique viewing areas; Cashless tolling; and Energy-efficient LED lighting.
As the first cable-stayed bridge ever built across the Hudson River, the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge uses steel cables placed at an angle to connect the bridge deck to vertical towers that extend high above the roadway. The bridge features eight 419-foot towers standing at a five-degree angle, and has a total of 192 stay cables that would stretch 14 miles if laid end-to-end. More than 110,000 tons of all-American steel is being used to build the bridge, and approximately 7,000 people have contributed to the project totaling nearly 9 million work hours.
The original Tappan Zee Bridge, linking Rockland and Westchester, opened in December 1955 and there are now more than 140,000 vehicles crossing it daily.
“This is a proud moment in the history of our great state. Not only is this project on time and on budget, it was built entirely by union labor and with American-made steel. I thank Governor Cuomo for once again setting the standard for the rest of the country by ensuring the best workforce and products were used on this magnificent bridge. The fact that highly skilled and highly trained union labor got the job done using only the best quality U.S. steel means we can all enjoy, with great confidence, a state-of-the-art crossing for generations to come,” said New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento.