The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:41

Tappan Zee Bridge Funding Questions Remain

While the first three piles for the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York have been completed, there are still many questions remaining about how the bridge will be financed. The original three-mile long Tappan Zee Bridge was completed in 1955, and it spans the Hudson River at its widest point connecting Rockland County and Westchester County. Construction on the new bridge began last year after decades of debate over whether to repair the existing bridge or build a new one. Currently, only $1.6 billion, of the $3.9 billion it will cost to build the new bridge, has been committed to the project. New York Lawmakers and officials at the New York State Thruway Authority, the agency overseeing construction of the bridge, are trying to determine who will pay for the $2.3 billion gap in funding.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Center for an Urban Future released a report yesterday titled Caution Ahead: Overdue Investments For New York’s Aging Infrastructure.  The 68-page study estimates that New York needs to spend $47 billion over the next four to five years to improve its failing infrastructure to a state of good repair. The report states that while Superstorm Sandy brought attention and some much needed funding to certain parts of New York’s infrastructure, there are still many other infrastructure vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Construction has finally begun on the 709-foot, 61-story skinny residential skyscraper located at 610 Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The tower, originally proposed in 2005, was delayed due to the recession in 2007 and eventually put on an indefinite hold in 2009. In March 2012, developer RFR Holding LLC regained control of the site and announced their plans to complete the project.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 06 March 2014

Construction is currently reaching over 600 feet on the 432 Park Avenue residential building in New York.  Once the 1,396-foot, 89-story structure is completed it will be the tallest residential building in the world and the third largest tower in the United States.  The building will actually be taller than One World Trade Center if the height of each building were only measured from the ground to their roof.  Developer CIM Group bought the Drake Hotel in 2006 for $440 million and demolished it to begin construction on the tower.  Rafael Vinoly from SLCE Architects designed the building, and WSP Cantor Seinuk provided the structural engineering services for the project.  Construction began in September 2011 and will finish in mid-2015.  Residents will begin moving in sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.  No details have emerged about the cost of the project.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 06 February 2014
Monday, 20 January 2014 12:45

Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project Underway

Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group officially broke ground on the Hudson Yards redevelopment in New York City in December 2012.  The West Side Yard, commonly referred to as Hudson Yards, opened in 1987 and is located on the West Side of Manhattan between West 30th street, West 33rd street, 10th street, and 12th street.  The rail yard stores commuter trains that operate through Penn Station.  The first phase of the plan to redevelop the 26-acre plot of land is building a platform over the eastern side of the yard to seal off the current train storage area.  This part of the project will begin this month.  The platform will take two and a half years to finish and cost $750 million.  It will take 300 caissons weighing between 4 and 60 tons, as well as 25,000 tons of steel and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete to complete the platform.  Once finished, two new skyscrapers will be able to be built on the platform.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 16 January 2014
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 00:00

Bayonne Bridge to be Raised

The existing Bayonne Bridge connecting Bayonne, New Jersey and Staten Island, New York will undergo an amazing feat of engineering.  The road bed will be raised while the existing road is still open to traffic.  The purpose of the project is to provide more clearance for shipping vessels traveling along the Kill von Kull strait. Currently the bridge has a clearance of 151 feet, which is one of the lowest in the United States. After construction the bridge will be 215 feet above the water. The span runs across the busiest shipping channel on the east coast of the United States, and approximately 30 percent of shipping vessels from Maine to Florida pass under the bridge.  Due to the delay of the Panama Canal expansion project, the 2015 old road bed removal date will match up well with the opening of the new, wider canal.  The canal opening is expected to increase the average size of ships around the world (height and width), and many ports in the United States are expanding to accommodate the newer shipping vessels.

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  • Date occured Monday, 13 January 2014

The icy temperatures sweeping across the United States have caused foundation work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge to come to a halt.  The frozen areas of the Hudson River in New York are preventing tug boats from being able to move around safely.  Project leaders are not sure how long the delays will last, but the forecast for the next week looks promising with every day’s high temperature well above freezing.  As soon as the large chunks of ice floating in the Hudson River melt, workers can get back to installing piles to support the bridge.  The project schedule includes a two-month period each year where crews will not be able to work on the Tappan Zee Bridge due to weather restrictions.  As a result, this delay is not expected to affect completing the bridge by 2018, and construction is continuing to move forward on land.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 09 January 2014

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are hoping to pick a group of winning bidders for the La Guardia airport replacement this spring.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the outdated, undersized airport in his State of the State address on Wednesday.  He cited the fact that La Guardia is currently ranked the worst airport in America as the main reason the Port Authority needs to finally award a contract to redesign the existing terminal.  He even mentioned that he would like to take political ownership of the project to ensure it gets completed. 

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  • Date occured Wednesday, 08 January 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a plan recently to spend $17 billion in federal disaster aid on improving the state’s infrastructure and developing systems that will increase emergency preparedness. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Albany, New York on Tuesday to show support for the plan.  Cuomo’s plan would fund over 1,000 projects across New York City and upstate including finding a way to quickly seal of the city’s 500 subway tunnels quickly during extreme weather.  The subway system flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the system required extensive repairs and needed to be temporarily closed down.  He plan’s to undergo the largest reconstruction of the New York transit system in over a hundred years using $5 billion in federal aid.  The plan calls for a redevelopment of New York’s two “inexcusable” airports JFK and LaGuardia to keep pace with the best international airports. Another highlight of the plan is the addition of a college to the State University of New York (SUNY) school system that will be dedicated to responding to disasters.  Cuomo plans to call it the SUNY College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cyber Security.

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  • Date occured Tuesday, 07 January 2014

Westfield Group paid $800 million last week to buy 50% of the retail space in the new World Trade Center.  The company had previously purchased the other 50% of space for $600 million two years ago.  Westfield Group is a mall developer and operator and currently own shopping areas in London, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles.  The New York and New Jersey Port Authority owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site, and it will use part of the $1.4 billion in revenue from the sales to fund infrastructure in the region.  According to Port Authoirty chairman David Samson, Westfield’s investment will allow the Port authority to “refocus agency resources on our core transportation mission.”  No specific announcements have been made about where this funding will be used.

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  • Date occured Thursday, 05 December 2013
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