The historic bridge that once connected South Nyack and Tarrytown across the Hudson River will now help connect towns and villages in our region.
It’s actually the panels that made up the Tappan Zee Bridge. The more than 60-year-old pieces will be used to help rebuild some current bridges in Chemung County.
“I think this is the kind of product that we can get at least 30 years out of, if not longer,” Andrew Avery, the Commissioner for Chemung County’s Department of Public Works, said. “They’ll be a lot easier to install.”
While the old Tappan Zee Bridge came down in October, it wasn’t the last of the old bridge. Six of the bridge panels will soon carry traffic in Chemung County.
“We’ll be able to use them,” Avery explained. “Either two of the panels on a small bridge, six on a large, four on a medium.”
The bridge was operated by the New York State Thruway Authority. Back in July, the thruway authority sold off panels for a $1 a piece. But can the old pieces still hold up?
“Tappan Zee wasn’t coming down because it was falling apart,” Avery said. “It was coming down because it couldn’t handle the traffic anymore that was needed. We know that we’re getting a good deal.”
A few counties took advantage of the clearance sale.
“It’s about a $300,000 to $400,000 savings for us when all is said and done,” Avery said. “It will speed up some of our bridge projects in the future.”
While the elements, such as cold and hot weather puts strain and pressure on metal and concrete, Avery says the panels are still good to use.
“They’re pre-cast panels, they weren’t cast in place, which usually means that they’re manufactured under high-quality standards,” He said. “We know that they’re going to do a great job for us.”
Avery said the new panels should arrive in the spring. As to what bridges will get the panels, he said the department hasn’t made a final decision yet.