TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — After two decades of dithering by government officials and four years of herculean drilling, pounding, hauling and lifting by 7,000 workers, a new 3.1 mile bridge is set to open at the Tappan Zee in the early hours of Saturday, the first crossing on that scale that has been built in the New York region in more than half a century.
Andrew M. Cuomo , who set the $4 billion project in motion after previous administrations had hemmed and hawed about whether to pay for continued repairs on the deteriorating Tappan Zee Bridge or to undertake an expensive replacement, stood Wednesday on the helm of a tugboat packed with reporters and photographers.
The new bridge is a sleek two-span cable-stayed design , with the cables holding up its steel decks anchored to the tops of the angled central towers rather than to the shore, and its striking look stands in contrast to the shabby erector set of the old Tappan Zee.
With troubled projects like Boston’s “Big Dig” highway tunnel, which was plagued by cost overruns, shoddy work, scandals and one death, the United States, he said, is falling behind in the competition with countries that build sleek new airports and railway systems.
The bike path became the subject of controversy because the original plan for the Rockland side terminated in a residential neighborhood of single family houses in South Nyack and residents complained that it would ruin the quiet of their streets.
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