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First permanent construction announced for new Tappan Zee Bridge project

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Albany/HV: First permanent construction announced for new Tappan Zee Bridge project
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It's the largest bridge project in New York State and Wednesday, officials delivered an update on the progress being made on the New NY Bridge Project. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the beginning of formal construction on the bridge, which will replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. Meredith Zaritheny has the latest.

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Officials with Tappan Zee Constructors are calling this a major step forward. Wednesday, they announced the first permanent steel pilings that will support the new bridge will be going into place. We got an up close look at the progress that's being made during a boat tour.

It's the largest transportation design project in the nation and it's making some major progress.

"This final design has started the final installation of the bridge has started," said Walter Reichert, Tappan Zee Constructor Project Manager.

Tappan Zee Constructors say crews will begin installing the first of many permanent steel pilings that will form the foundation of the New NY Bridge by the end of the week.

Reichert said, "There's 64 in this particular footing. This is the main span, so it's got the heaviest loads."

These steel pilings being used for the main span towers are six feet wide and weigh 90 tons. Each piling will be vibrated into place, down into at least 250 feet of bedrock below the river.

"Then we cast a concert footing that ties all the piles together and transfers the load from the superstructure to the piling to the bedrock in the river," Reichert said.

The New NY Bridge is the largest infrastructure project in state history. After more than a decade of delay, Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York State has moved this project forward at a dramatic pace.

In a statement, Governor Cuomo said, "Once completed, drivers in Rockland, Westchester and surrounding areas will finally have a safer, less congested bridge that will include a walkway for pedestrians and bikers and accommodate future mass transit."

"The take away is things are actually happening, the bridge is going to be complete on schedule," said Thruway Authority Project Director Peter Sanderson.

Officials say it will take about a year to install all the pilings needed to support the new bridge. They estimate that's about total of 1,000 pilings.

Up until now, crews have been just working on test piling, but this marks the first permanent construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

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