The state Department of Environmental Conservation gave its nod of approval for a proposed Tappan Zee Bridge assembly facility to be located at the Port of Coeymans on the Hudson River in Albany County.
The facility would bring in construction materials by barge, with those materials then built into bridge sections at the port and sent back down the Hudson to the construction site in Westchester County.
But for work to start at the Port of Coeymans, preparation needs to be done to establish the Tappan Zee Constructors Assembly Facility, which the DEC determined would have no significantly adverse environmental impact. Site preparation includes demolishing an existing building, dredging to avoid an incidental take of sturgeon and installation of steel piles to construct trestles to support cranes in shallower water.
“Dredge spoil dewatering is to be controlled within a dewatering basin or barge with all discharge limits to be met as well as the clean material re-used and contaminated material sent to a solid waste facility,” a news release from the DEC states.
The dredging and pile work is scheduled to be completed by September. The goal is for the assembly facility to be up and running by the end of the year.
The Tappan Zee is the longest bridge in the state, connecting South Nyack in Rockland County with Tarrytown in Westchester County. The bridge is nearly 60 years old, and work is already underway to build a new one.
The new bridge — called the New NY Bridge — is expected to open in 2018, with the first of the new twin spans to be completed by 2016. The total cost of the project is $3.9 billion and is being designed and built by Tappan Zee Constructors, a consortium of a handful of firms.
The port is requesting $1 million in state funding from Empire State Development, the state’s leading economic development agency, as part of this year’s regional economic development council awards in October.
The Capital Region’s Regional Economic Development Council listed the port project as a priority to receive state aid. The region is competing against other regions across the state for a portion of up to $750 million in funding.
The award would be used for the Tappan Zee assembly facility, as well as water infrastructure extensions and upgrades, improvement of access roads and the purchase of a motorized trailer to transport heavy equipment from rail to storage.
“By optimizing the port’s access via water, truck and rail, the import/export business of New York goods to foreign markets can be drastically increased,” according to the port.
That’s in line with the state’s goal for this year’s regional council awards to generate global investments and identify export strategies. The Port of Coeymans plans to work with the Port of Albany to develop new business, transportation options and partnerships with companies like General Electric in Schenectady.