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Preliminary Work Begins on New Tappan Zee Bridge

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Two public hearings on the Tappan Zee Bridge's draft environmental impact statement are scheduled next week as preliminary work on the new bridge is already under way.

Crews working on barges in the river have begun to test the soil and bedrock along the projected path of the new bridge, according to Andrew O'Rourke of the New York State Thruway Authority. The testing will help prospective bidders design the new bridge's foundation.

“This is the first precursory work towards” the construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, O'Rourke said.

Workers are currently driving piles down between 10 and 300 feet to collect soil and bedrock samples of the river bottom. O'Rourke noted that crews are working at 66 different locations in the river and will collect hundreds of samples.

“Ultimately we'll save time and money,” O'Rourke said, because the results will be sent to all four qualified bidders, which means they won't have to conduct individual investigations before submitting their proposals.

O'Rourke added that the step after this in the construction process would be to begin putting piles into the river for a series of fatigue tests.

State transportation officials will be meeting with area residents to discuss the draft statement during meetings in Rockland and Westchester County on Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A meeting will be held at the Palisades Center in West Nyack on Tuesday. Another meeting will take place at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown on Thursday.

Presentations on the statement will take place at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. during both hearings. Residents who wish to speak during the hearings must register by 5:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. Those with special needs should contact Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates at 917-339-0488.

The Palisades Center is located at 1000 Palisades Center Drive in West Nyack. The meeting will be held in the fourth floor community rooms. The Westchester Marriott is located at 670 White Plains Road in Tarrytown.

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