Metro North WOH Rail Options Using the Tappan Zee Bridge TZB

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nyrmetros
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by nyrmetros » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:50 pm

SecaucusJunction wrote:News on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Construction could start as early as August if this Federal Loan gets approved... it would go forward with no mass transit, not even a bus corridor.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-1 ... ridge.html
An absolute waste if that were to happen. Additional rail capacity is critical to the future development of all the regions nearby.

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:56 pm

The scaled down version of the bridge will cost an estimated $5.2 billion.

I think Westchester County DOT said that just BRT alone would add close to $1 billion in costs. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that adding commuter rail in various versions would add up to $3 billion to the cost of the new bridge. And that the state "just doesn't have it." :(

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by CComMack » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:02 am

How gold-plated is that BRT if it costs $1 Billion? You could get BRT running on the existing bridge by Easter with paint, a couple signs, and enforcement. That's supposed to be the selling point of BRT over rail; low start-up costs. If the BRT option still costs $1 Billion, and was still more cost-effective than rail, then clearly the EIS process isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

At what point can we say that allowing the bridge to come to end-of-life and then not replacing it is the correct policy? If all of the build alternatives are so hideously expensive, why should we spend all that money supporting sprawl development in Rockland and Orange Counties? For that matter, I couldn't find a recent figure, but in 2005, running the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry only cost the state (via the MTA) $1.1 Million per year, above farebox revenue. If that's still approximately accurate, a Nyack-Tarrytown Ferry, frequent enough to provide a direct connection to every Hudson Line train on Metro-North's schedule, could be run off the interest from taking the money intended to be spent on a new bridge and stashing it in a bank. Lower the boat frequency to something more reasonable, and you have enough leftover budget to provide connecting BRT service across the 287 corridor, because, again, that should only require paint, signs, and enforcement.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:49 am

Will this be the fate of Tappan Zee in anyone's lifetime around here?

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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:17 pm

CComMack wrote:...You could get BRT running on the existing bridge by Easter with paint, a couple signs, and enforcement.
I think you're confusing Bus-Only lanes with Bus Rapid Transit. BRT requires dedicated right-of-way, new traffic control systems and a host of other stuff.

The whole idea is not to take a lane away from private vehicle traffic on the bridge but to add additional lanes (one in each direction). That right there is going to cost some serious cash.

As far as not replacing the bridge...it handles 140,000 vehicles per weekday. No more bridge would mean the end of life in this area as we know it! :)

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:36 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Will this be the fate of Tappan Zee in anyone's lifetime around here?
If it is, I hope it's a planned fate: from what I understand the Tap is at the point where a Mianus River Bridge-type event is not out of the question.

If the state is that short of money, why not just sell the thing and let a private company build a new one? Got to imagine an owner could turn a profit on the only Hudson river crossing between the GW and the Bear Mountain.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Gilbert B Norman » Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:26 pm

Here is link to material regarding the Mianus River bridge incident:

http://blog.tstc.org/2008/06/27/remembe ... s-lessons/

I'd dare say this incident occurred before half this site's membership was born, but I remember it well, although living here in Chicago at that time, I had been ordered by the Fairfield Navy to report for duty at St Georges DE, from there we sailed (OK a motorboat - they were called "stinkboats' when I grew up with sailboats) up the Atlantic Coast to New York Harbor; there we learned of the collapse, and, in view of that I had a flight to catch that evening from KLGA and that Connecticut Limousine was shut down East of Greenwich, that is where the Captain (aka my Father) said we would sail to. We moored at Indian Harbor YC, and Limo was operating 12 passenger vans from a stop on Steamboat Road. While I made my flight with time to spare, all i can think is how disrupted lives in Fairfield County were, as the only highway alternative was Post Road or Metro North and Amtrak. We should also remember that Fairfield county residents are "not used to" having their lives disrupted (only disrupting other people's lives).

This leads one to wonder what would the region do if Tappan Zee was deemed unsafe and either greatly limited in its capacity or shut down all together. I simply cannot envision Bear Mountain handling all that much of its traffic - that one would be in the drink if it did.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:17 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is link to material regarding the Mianus River bridge incident:

http://blog.tstc.org/2008/06/27/remembe ... s-lessons/

I'd dare say this incident occurred before half this site's membership was born, but I remember it well, although living here in Chicago at that time, I had been ordered by the Fairfield Navy to report for duty at St Georges DE, from there we sailed (OK a motorboat - they were called "stinkboats' when I grew up with sailboats) up the Atlantic Coast to New York Harbor; there we learned of the collapse, and, in view of that I had a flight to catch that evening from KLGA and that Connecticut Limousine was shut down East of Greenwich, that is where the Captain (aka my Father) said we would sail to. We moored at Indian Harbor YC, and Limo was operating 12 passenger vans from a stop on Steamboat Road. While I made my flight with time to spare, all i can think is how disrupted lives in Fairfield County were, as the only highway alternative was Post Road or Metro North and Amtrak. We should also remember that Fairfield county residents are "not used to" having their lives disrupted (only disrupting other people's lives).

This leads one to wonder what would the region do if Tappan Zee was deemed unsafe and either greatly limited in its capacity or shut down all together. I simply cannot envision Bear Mountain handling all that much of its traffic - that one would be in the drink if it did.
I was only 5 when that happened, but I sure do remember all the bridge renewal that went on in CT for the next 10 years in the fallout from that. Construction EVERYWHERE for years on end all over the state. There were dozens of Mianuses waiting to happen at that time because of maintenance negligence. They did a pretty impressive job getting caught up on the deferred maintenance backlog during the Bill O'Neill administration, but after 2 decades of penny-pinching during the Rowland/Rell years it's like they're back where they started with the crumbling infrastructure and indifference to fixing any of it. Mianus itself was a traffic-snarled construction site for a full decade. That project took an absurdly long time to finish, and got a lot of area politicians booted out of office by surly commuters taking out their frustration with the state on a voting booth. There may be a whole generation in Fairfield County that grew up after the collapse, but there sure are a lot who remember the endless backups and ever-present construction cranes at that bridge.

You would've thought I-35W was the shock to the system the country needed to massively invest in renewal of structures at risk of failure, but I almost wonder if these disasters have to come in threes for the gov't to be capable of acting on anything.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:22 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:If the state is that short of money, why not just sell the thing and let a private company build a new one? Got to imagine an owner could turn a profit on the only Hudson river crossing between the GW and the Bear Mountain.
But a private developer isn't going to build a bridge that includes BRT and CRT, not if private money has to pay for the mass transit part. As for a motor vehicle-only bridge, the state has the money to build that. A federal loan (or possibly it's a grant, the bridge is part of the Interstate Highway System) plus Thruway bonds backed by the new bridge's toll revenues.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:32 pm

Subscription req'd: Cuomo Keeps Tappan Zee Options Open

It's clear transit won't happen for years now, whether the reassurances are genuine or not.
"There's been criticism we'll build a bridge that doesn't support rail," Mr. Cuomo said. "That's not true. The bridge will support rail. The question is the rest of the system that doesn't exist."

Developing a rail link for Metro-North over the bridge into Rockland County could double the cost of the planned replacement project, Mr. Cuomo said. State officials said Wednesday even developing a dedicated bus transit system would add billions of dollars to the bottom line. The Cuomo administration has pegged the cost of a new bridge without transit at $5 billion to $6 billion, but acknowledged that could change.
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:20 pm

Cuomo makes a valid point though I think.

The BRT route (recall my comment yesterday regarding a 'Bus-Only Lane?') or a commuter rail option does require a lot more than lanes or tracks on the new bridge. That alone wouldn't do anybody much good. For BRT and/or CRT you need right-of-way east/west of the bridge, parking, stations, access roads and a very expensive connecting line from the bridge deck down to Metro-North's Hudson Line. Right now none of these things exist.

If the Tappan Zee Bridge was in better condition maybe the project could be delayed until the economy picks up and they could arrange funding for a bridge-with-transit. But the bridge needs replacement now. They're talking about possibly starting work in as a few as six months.

It's just a shame that the timing on this has to be so lousy as far as getting mass transit as part of the new bridge.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by MACTRAXX » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is link to material regarding the Mianus River bridge incident:

http://blog.tstc.org/2008/06/27/remembe ... s-lessons/

I'd dare say this incident occurred before half this site's membership was born, but I remember it well, although living here in Chicago at that time, I had been ordered by the Fairfield Navy to report for duty at St Georges DE, from there we sailed (OK a motorboat - they were called "stinkboats' when I grew up with sailboats) up the Atlantic Coast to New York Harbor; there we learned of the collapse, and, in view of that I had a flight to catch that evening from KLGA and that Connecticut Limousine was shut down East of Greenwich, that is where the Captain (aka my Father) said we would sail to. We moored at Indian Harbor YC, and Limo was operating 12 passenger vans from a stop on Steamboat Road. While I made my flight with time to spare, all i can think is how disrupted lives in Fairfield County were, as the only highway alternative was Post Road or Metro North and Amtrak. We should also remember that Fairfield county residents are "not used to" having their lives disrupted (only disrupting other people's lives).

This leads one to wonder what would the region do if Tappan Zee was deemed unsafe and either greatly limited in its capacity or shut down all together. I simply cannot envision Bear Mountain handling all that much of its traffic - that one would be in the drink if it did.
I was only 5 when that happened, but I sure do remember all the bridge renewal that went on in CT for the next 10 years in the fallout from that. Construction EVERYWHERE for years on end all over the state. There were dozens of Mianuses waiting to happen at that time because of maintenance negligence. They did a pretty impressive job getting caught up on the deferred maintenance backlog during the Bill O'Neill administration, but after 2 decades of penny-pinching during the Rowland/Rell years it's like they're back where they started with the crumbling infrastructure and indifference to fixing any of it. Mianus itself was a traffic-snarled construction site for a full decade. That project took an absurdly long time to finish, and got a lot of area politicians booted out of office by surly commuters taking out their frustration with the state on a voting booth. There may be a whole generation in Fairfield County that grew up after the collapse, but there sure are a lot who remember the endless backups and ever-present construction cranes at that bridge.

You would've thought I-35W was the shock to the system the country needed to massively invest in renewal of structures at risk of failure, but I almost wonder if these disasters have to come in threes for the gov't to be capable of acting on anything.
GBN and F Line: I remember the Mianus River Bridge collapse myself-I was in my early 20s back then...
I want to mention that bridge had a type of construction that thankfully railroads did not use which was
a floating span link and pin type that was used basically in the 50s and early 60s I believe...
The pins corroded causing the links to give way leading to the collapse...
What that collapse showed us all that these types of infrastructure can not be ignored
or be neglected for any length of time...
MNCR's New Haven Line parallels I-95 at that point nearby...

As for the Tappan Zee Bridge hopefully a design that contains commuter rail or at the very least provisions
for future service is included in the new bridge's design and noting that some would like the old span preserved
for a Greenway...let's see what the cost will be for that option...

Hopefully a decision regarding what is to be done about the TZB is made soon and not subject to bureaucratic
and other delays...

MACTRAXX
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Tommy Meehan
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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:00 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:As for the Tappan Zee Bridge hopefully a design that contains commuter rail or at the very least provisions
for future service is included in the new bridge's design....Hopefully a decision regarding what is to be done about the TZB is made soon and not subject to bureaucratic and other delays....
You really have some catching up to do. :)
MACTRAXX wrote:...noting that some would like the old span preserved for a Greenway
The funny thing is, the advocates of keeping the old TZB for recreation (who by the way were ridiculed -- sound familiar? -- at first) are now thinking it might be cheaper than taking it down anyway.

Conrail could've told them that. (See Walkway Over the Hudson.)

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by CComMack » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:16 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:
CComMack wrote:...You could get BRT running on the existing bridge by Easter with paint, a couple signs, and enforcement.
I think you're confusing Bus-Only lanes with Bus Rapid Transit. BRT requires dedicated right-of-way, new traffic control systems and a host of other stuff.

The whole idea is not to take a lane away from private vehicle traffic on the bridge but to add additional lanes (one in each direction). That right there is going to cost some serious cash.

As far as not replacing the bridge...it handles 140,000 vehicles per weekday. No more bridge would mean the end of life in this area as we know it! :)
Very well, BRT isn't just dedicated lanes over the bridge; it's also prepaid fare boarding stations and signal pre-emption. But for a busway on a congested interstate highway, the dedicated lanes are the most important component, because that's where you generate time savings over driving. (Or capacity, if your bus frequency is high enough, but Tappan ZEExpress shouldn't be getting delusions of Lincoln Tunnel XBL grandeur.) Nor is the highway lane component dependent on any other component for implementation; it can be introduced as soon as it is ready, and the station and signal upgrades can catch up later. The existing variable lane geometry of the bridge is an asset here, since you can piggyback on pre-existing infrastructure for the reversible lane.

But my larger point is that, while not gravely disrupting the quality of life in Rockland County is my responsibility as a fellow American citizen, it's not $5B worth of my responsibility, especially not when the $5B represents no appreciable upgrade from the unappealing status quo. (I'm focussing on Rockland here because the existence of the highway bridge without transit is a net negative for Westchester, since it induces people like me to drive through who would otherwise either drive around or not drive, and the option to commute from Rockland depresses Westchester residential real estate values.) I would be more than happy to contribute to a $10B bridge with transit, but a $5B bridge without transit is Rockland's problem. If replacing the bridge with frequent ferry service supplemented with other transit really poses an existential threat to the Rockland way of life, which it very well might be, then Rockland should have no problem in raising the bulk of the funds to prevent such a scenario on its own, whether that be through a rise in bridge tolls, or through local property taxes, or both.

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Re: Tappan Zee corridor study?

Post by Tommy Meehan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:21 pm

CComMack wrote:The existing variable lane geometry of the bridge is an asset here, since you can piggyback on pre-existing infrastructure for the reversible lane.

You still don't seem to quite get the scope of what was planned. Below is a link to the Westchester County website about the bridge, BRT and the various alternatives. I'll hope you'll take a couple minutes and read it.

One thing this isn't (or wasn't) is an upgrade of the existing TZB Express bus service that takes Rockland County commuters to Metro-North at Tarrytown. Under the planning that service would've ended. Rockland commuters would have had direct rail service across the bridge, down a ramp and into a tunnel connecting with the Hudson Line north of Irvington.

The BRT being proposed would primarily serve Rockland commuters who work in Westchester.
BRT for Westchester
The specific characteristics of the BRT system that will operate in the I-287 corridor have not been finalized. Westchester County is recommending that the following characteristics be considered in the final design of the new BRT system:

1. The BRT system should be separated from general traffic as much as possible. Ideally, the new BRT system should operate in its own independent right-of-way.
2. Stations should be accessible to pedestrians and should be strongly integrated with the surrounding land use – that is to say, they should not be in the middle of parking lots or in the middle of I-287.
3. The new BRT system should be designed so as to complement existing bus and train transit services and, where possible, should exploit/develop the opportunities for local feeder service.
http://planning.westchestergov.com/tz-bridge-and-i-287

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