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ACTT Workshop: New York
Tappan Zee Bridge Deck Replacement

Chapter 4: Conclusions

4.1. Next Steps

The New York State Thruway Authority's goal was to provide ACTT attendees with an approach that would meet the principles behind FHWA's innovative ACTT and Highways for LIFE programs. After working on the challenges of this bridge for so long, the Thruway Authority was looking for fresh perspectives to make sure it was not entrenched in one way of thinking. Plus, the Authority was aware that creative solutions were being applied across the country, and it hoped to benefit from discussing these advances with national experts and local attendees.

FHWA, meanwhile, viewed the Tappan Zee Bridge as an ideal location in which to demonstrate the benefits of ACTT, the Highways for LIFE initiative and the "Get In, Stay In (and get it done right), Get Out and Stay Out" philosophy that these initiatives embrace. The result was a win-win-win situation for FHWA, the Thruway Authority and workshop attendees. Attendees found the Thruway Authority's base plan for contract one to be sound, and the Thruway Authority gained several ideas that refined and improved upon its plan. At the time of this writing, the Thruway Authority was pursuing the following recommendations for contract one:

Innovative Construction/Contracting
  • Utilize alternative bidding to maximize the benefits of the funding available for contract one. The western causeway will serve as the base bid, and the trusses will be add-on bids.
  • Utilize issue resolution models (partnering).
  • Pre-qualify major suppliers.
  • Hold a mandatory pre-bid orientation meeting with potential bidders at the project site.
  • Encourage water-borne delivery and erection methods to minimize lane closures and reduce truck deliveries.
  • Continue the use of disincentives found in previous Tappan Zee contracts. Also, use incentives on this contract, since prefabrication will minimize project variables.
  • Encourage bidders to consider installing units wider than one lane via the river.
  • Enter into confidentiality agreements with bidders since this is a lifeline structure.
  • Proceed with the Thruway Authority's reusable prefabricated superstructure concept.
  • Minimize on-site grouting and concrete pouring.
  • Use galvanized steel girders to minimize future maintenance.
  • Encourage contractors to consider SPMTs for truss portions.
  • Eliminate transverse post-tensioning, which was proposed to minimize leakage between units, as well as match casting. They offer a low cost-benefit ratio.
  • Consider using prefabricated deck units and keeping the steel on the truss portions if the steel proves difficult to remove during detailed design.
  • As is done on all projects, utilize HAR and VMS.
  • Use existing enforcement techniques to identify traffic trends and remind motorists of the speed limits in work zones.
  • Adhere to Thruway lane closure requirements for all contracts.
  • Provide the public with real-time information through a Thruway web site, the traffic management center (TMC) and press releases.
  • Provide project information to trucking and other industries through Thruway operations and press releases.
  • From exit 14A to the Tappan Zee Bridge, utilize TRANSMIT detectors to obtain real-time speed and travel times. Broadcast travel times between these locations on Thruway HAR for morning afternoon and nighttime construction periods. Utilize the existing lighted signs to notify motorists of speed limits through work zones.
  • Provide incentives rather than disincentives to promote early project completion.
  • Provide good field lighting (i.e., placement of light banks over guide rails).
  • Plan for job site delivery of materials and supplies.
  • Provide worker buffer areas.
Public Relations
  • Realize that giving the public accurate and timely information is key to public buy-in for the project: communication with patrons is essential for a successful public outreach effort.
  • Integrate messages about the partial superstructure replacement with plans for/communication about pending studies and future work in the area to make sure the public is kept up-to-date and does not become confused as to the intent of the current project. Otherwise, the project may be perceived as a short-term solution and a waste of money.
  • Inform patrons of scheduled work via press releases, E-ZPass mailings, informational pamphlets at toll plazas, DMV mailings and so forth.
  • Provide notification to commercial carriers, who make up a large portion of commuters, via the HAR system or other means of communication. It may be necessary to reach beyond New York State and include Quebec and other Northeast States.
  • Use dedicated staff (both internal and contract staff) to provide adequate outreach.
  • Have a dedicated project web page(s) with a link from the Thruway Authority home page.
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Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000