Construction has officially begun on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, with installation of permanent piles that will make up the foundation of the new bridge. Construction on the long-awaited, twin span, named New NY Bridge, is expected to be completed in 2018 and cost under $4 billion, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office.

Rendering by Tappan Zee Constructors LLC and HDR Engineering Inc.
Large Spans: The New NY Bridge (as viewed here from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) will have eight traffic lanes and include a bike and pedestrian path upon completion.

“After more than a decade of delay, New York State has moved this project forward at a dramatic pace while working with the community, involving the public and protecting the local environment,” Cuomo said in an Oct. 16 statement.

When completed, the bridge will include eight traffic lanes, four breakdown/emergency lanes, and state-of-the-art traffic monitoring systems, as well as a dedicated commuter bus lane. It is also being designed and constructed to accommodate bus rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail. The project will also include a bike and pedestrian path.

The NYS Thruway Authority awarded a design-build contract last December to the Tappan Zee Constructors LLC consortium, which bid $3.142 billion for the project. The consortium is made up of Fluor; American Bridge; Granite; and Traylor Bros.; along with design firms HDR; Buckland & Taylor; URS; GZA.

Crews erected massive steel trestles to serve as staging areas in June so that work on the Tappan Zee Bridge’s replacement could begin.

Earlier this year, New York State secured a $1.5-billion federal loan for the project. In September, environmental group Riverkeeper, Ossing, N.Y., filed a notice of intent to sue the consortium and the thruway authority for alleged environmental violations in the project including dredging and failure to protect endangered sturgeon.