On a recent train trip north along New York’s Hudson River, I had the unintended pleasure of riding past the easternmost abutment of the massive, new, 3.1-mile-long steel bridge rising parallel to the 61-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge.
Aiming for completion in 2018, the $4-billion program hinges on a $3.14-billion design-build contract being performed by Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a national consortium led by Fluor Corp., American Bridge Co., Granite Construction, and Traylor Brothers Inc. The safety-minded group also has adapted its initials, “TZC”, to stand for Take Zero Chances. That goal has been greatly enabled by the high level of offsite fabrication that the team has employed for assembling and joining its oversized steel members into hundreds of smaller, portable bridges.
“Building these assemblies on land improved our safety, our quality, and our cost,” says Terry Towle, a Fluor SVP and TZC project executive. “The production rates using this process, rather than stick building this structure over water, were better by a factor of three — that’s not 30%, that’s a factor of three.”