Fluor Uses Super Crane to Deconstruct Tappan Zee Bridge Across Hudson River in N.Y.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 10:36 am EST


The Fluor-led joint venture, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC., comprised of Fluor, American Bridge, Granite and Traylor Brothers, has begun dismantling the deck spans of the Tappan Zee Bridge connecting Rockland and Westchester counties over the Hudson River in New York.  Before its retirement this past October, the bridge carried more than 140,000 vehicles annually during its peak.

Replacing the Tappan Zee is the twin-span Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that sits adjacent to the old span and is the largest bridge project in New York’s history.

The dismantling phase follows the completion of the new bridge’s westbound span, which opened to traffic in August 2017.

Photo Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority

Doing the majority of the heavy lifting will be the iconic shear-leg barge crane originally called the Left Coast Lifter and now affectionately referred to as the I Lift NY super crane. This is the first time the massive crane, used to erect both the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California, and Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, will be used to deconstruct a bridge.

“Our team has advanced critical construction milestones for the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which resulted in all traffic traveling on the new span,” said Terry Towle, senior vice president of Fluor’s infrastructure business line and president of Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC. “This milestone made way for the floating sheerleg to transition into its new role as a de-constructor of the old bridge. We are looking forward to the opportunity to continue to showcase our unique equipment capabilities that maximize our ability to meet schedule and capital efficiency goals.” 

In the initial deconstruction, the crane assisted with removing a 235-foot long section of the old bridge’s steel. It will remove 20 similar sections into next year, the largest weighing more than 1,300 tons. Materials will be placed on floating barges for transportation offsite.

The super crane will also be used to disassemble large sections of concrete and substructure. Many of these materials will be recycled. More than 130 deck panel units, each approximately 13 feet wide by 50 feet long, will be provided to nearly a dozen state and local municipalities to be repurposed for other bridges and roadways across New York.

The $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. Construction began in 2013 and the second span is scheduled to open to traffic next year.


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Photo Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority


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