Client
New York State Thruway Authority
Location
Hudson River North of New York City, NY, U.S.

Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

​​​​The Governor Ma​rio M. Cuomo Bridge was designed and built by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (​TZC), a consortium of some of the world's best-known and most highly-regarded desig​n, engine​ering and construction firm​s, including Fluor, American Bridge, Granite and Traylor Bros., along with key design firms HDR, Buckland & Taylor, URS and GZA. ​​

TZC worked closely on the project with a team of employees from the New York State Thruway Authority. The 3-mile twin span cable-stayed bridge is the single largest bridge construction project in New York's history and one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. The bridge replaced the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge that connected Rockland County to Westchester County over the Hudson River.

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Client's Challenge

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was needed because the number of vehicles crossing the bridge every day far exceeded the number the previous bridge was designed to handle, traffic jams and delays were a regular occurrence, accident rates were high and maintenance costs on the old bridge were expected to be three to four billion dollars over the next 20 years. The bridge carried 140,000 vehicles daily. Approximately 50 million vehicles crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge in 2016.

The new bridge was designed and constructed to last 100 years without major structural maintenance. It is a visually striking, recognizable landmark and one of the widest cable-stayed structures of its kind in the world.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge features eight general traffic lanes, four emergency shoulders, dedicated bus lanes, a shared bicycle/pedestrian path and a state-of-the-art traffic monitoring system. The new crossing also has the structural capacity to handle rail in the future.

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Fluor's Solution

TZC was a strategically formed consortium of design-builders created to deliver the best project team to successfully build the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge on time and within budget while achieving the highest environmental standards.

The TZC team partnership was based on aligning cultures within each firm that steered the strategic planning throughout the project. These key cultures shared by the team started with a no-nonsense outlook on safety.

TZC team members all shared excellent safety records and invested great resources and planning to ensure that each employee was trained and prepared to work in a safe environment.

The contract required, and TZC set aside, 10% of the total project budget as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal, which equated to about $314 million in subcontract opportunities. DBEs were encouraged to attend TZC's monthly orientation meetings, where they met with DBE program and procurement team members.


Conclusion

Construction began in late 2013. The first span opened to drivers in August 2017, shifting all four westbound lanes of traffic from the existing bridge. The second span opened in September 2018.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States and is the largest bridge in New York State history. The National Steel Bridge Alliance recognized the project team with its 2020 Prize Bridge Award in the Major Span category.

The project also earned an American Society of Civil Engineers 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Bronze Award for originality and innovation, resourcefulness in planning and solving design challenges, sustainability considerations and project planning and delivery.

Photos Courtesy New York State Thruway Authority.