Today’s Pickup: New Tappan Zee Bridge opens

The new Tappan Zee Bridge is seen on the right next to the current bridge. The westbound span opens officially tonight. Work on the eastbound span will continue, with an expected opening date in the spring. ( Photo: New York Department of Transportation )

Good day,

At a cost of $4 billion, the new Tappan Zee Bridge has officially opened in New York City. Technically, one span of the bridge – four lanes open to westbound traffic – opens tonight with the second span scheduled to open in the spring.

The new bridge, named the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, is replacing the current Tappan Zee Bridge, which is a critical link for traffic in the Northeast. The old bridge is 62 years old and carriers 50 million vehicles a year across the Hudson River.

“Today, my father does smile down on us,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, according to the Associated Press. The bridge is named for his father, who served as governor from 1983 to 1994.

The 3-mile bridge is part of Cuomo’s $10 billion list of spending for Upstate New York, even though it is just 20 miles outside New York City. It’s inclusion in the funding was critical, he said, because the bridge carriers 138,000 daily commuters across the river.

 Did you know?

The new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York took more than 1,000 cylindrical piles buried into the Hudson River to create 41 pillars to hold the spans. 330,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured and it features 6,000 precast concrete road deck panels.


“’Do I take off the seatbelt? Do I open the window?’ I had one of those special tools with the hammer and the seatbelt cutter. I think it traumatized an entire generation.”

– Andrew Cuomo, New York governor, on his thoughts when crossing the old Tappan Zee Bridge

In other news:

Used truck prices dropping

Used truck prices have fallen about 8% from last year and the supply of day cabs on the market has risen, according to a J.D. Power analyst. (CCJ)

Brexit causing supply chain disruptions

Officials from the Bank of England are concerned that Brexit is causing businesses to delay investments in the supply chain and curtailing domestic capacity. (Wall Street Journal)

Robot cargo ship

Japan’s Nippon Yusen K.K. is considering moving a cargo ship from Japan to North America autonomously. (Bloomberg)

Intermodal traffic climbs

U.S. intermodal rail traffic jumped 8.2% for the week ending Aug. 19 compared with a year ago, according to Association of American Railroads (AAR) data. (Progressive Railroading)

Meal, rest breaks on legislative agenda

A bill to ensure nationwide uniformity in meal and rest break provisions for truck drivers is likely to be discussed by the House of Representatives this September. (Transport Topics)

Final Thoughts

News that Japan’s Nippon Yusen K.K. wants to use autonomous technology to move a cargo ship from Japan to North America is the latest sign that autonomous vehicles – be they cars, trucks, or ships – are coming, whether the public is ready for them or not.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.