WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Many Westchester County residents who take the Tappan Zee Bridge for Friday evening commutes or summer weekends upstate expect traffic nightmares across the Hudson River span.
The planners and designers of the New NY Bridge say that congestion will be relieved once the new span, estimated to cost $3.9 billion, is completed sometime in 2018.
According to information from the the New York State Highway authority, 138,000 vehicles cross the Tappan Zee Bridge every day, far more than it was designed to handle. Traffic jams and delays are a regular occurrence, the accident rate is double the average rate on the rest of the 574-mile New York State Thruway. There are no lanes or shoulders for emergency vehicles or disabled vehicles, creating more traffic delays.
Charles DeMatteo, who lives in Northern Westchester and works in Yonkers, said summer commuters should beware of Friday evenings and Sunday nights.
"Don't cross (the Tappan Zee Bridge) on Friday between 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday between noon and 9 p.m.," DeMatteo said.
For those in and around the county who will be traveling over the next three months or boating in the Hudson River between Irvington and Sleepy Hollow and across to Nyack, there are some travel hints from the New York State Highway Authority.
Construction of the New NY Bridge continues the week of June 2 with pile driving between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. A second shift of workers will also continue pile welding operations associated with permanent foundations.
Mariners should be aware that construction crews will continue installing permanent piles in the vicinity of the side channels under the existing bridge, weather permitting. Temporary navigational lighting has been installed to help boaters define the 600-foot navigation channel under the main span. Both temporary and permanent piles are illuminated at night.
Ossining's Robert Daraio, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and a Village Trustee said boaters are up to date on the work on the river.
"The TZ Bridge people (NY Thruway Authority) have been really great about keeping everyone informed all the way through this process," Daraio said. "All of the boat clubs have received safety guidelines and get updates on construction. The lighting is in place and with the increase in boating during the summer months, we are in good shape."
Boaters may access the interactive map showing vessel locations on the project website.
Those who travel on the New York State Thruway to and from Rockland County (I-87/I-287) this week can expect some delays during off hours as lanes are closed near Exit 10 Nyack. The lanes will all be opened during morning and evening rush hours and on weekends.
Lane closures for the week of June 2-6:
Monday, June 2 Southbound, Right Lane near Exit 10 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 3 Southbound, Right Lane near Exit 10 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 4 Northbound, Right Lane near Exit 10 -10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 5 Northbound, Right Lane near Exit 10 - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 6 Northbound, Right Lane near Exit 10 - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.