Dismantling of the 61-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge is expected to take more than a year. Bridge sections are being removed carefully and shipped on barges upriver to Albany and downriver to Perth Amboy, N.J. to be sold — concrete will be crushed for use in highway construction and the steel will be recycled.
However, the National Post reports that some of the steel and concrete deck panels will be trucked to upstate towns to save help them save money on local bridge projects. New York’s Thruway Authority offered 150 50-foot long steel-and-concrete deck panels to local governments for $1 apiece, and eight counties took advantage of the offer.
“We’re estimating it will save us about $100,000 per bridge,” Jim Dougan, deputy public works superintendent in northern New York’s Essex County, told the news agency, adding that the dozen panels they requested might build up to five bridges. “For a county with about 38,000 residents, that’s pretty important.”
Livingston County in western New York requested six of the panels. “We don’t have specific locations for them,” Livingston County’s highway superintendent Don Higgins told the news agency. “We just want to have them in stock when something comes up.”
Allegany County Public Works put in for six panels, which will likely be used to replace bridges along dirt or gravel roads. “The Tappan Zee had 140,000 vehicles per day,” Allegany County Public Works Superintendent Guy James told the news agency. “Here, the panels will go on roads that might have 100 cars a day. They should serve the rural population very well. We’ll have to make sure our bridge supports can handle them,” he added, referring to the 43 ton weight of the panels.
Chemung County Supervisor Tom Santulli plans to incorporate a sign or plaque to identify the panels that may be used to replace several bridges over a trout stream in his county. “It’s kind of neat to have pieces of the Tappan Zee,” he told the news agency. “It’s a piece of history; when they built it, it was quite a feat.”