The three-mile-long Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is flanked by long approaches, and its visually-striking main span establishes an iconic gateway that will serve the majestic Hudson Valley for the next century. Geometrically aligned cables rise from the roadbed like the sails of a ship. Eight tapered towers — each 419 feet tall — lean outward as they embrace the sky. The cables, or stays, are inclined to the same extent as the towers so that the main span becomes a valley through which each roadway passes. The New York State Thruway Authority replaced the 62-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge with this state-of-the-art twin crossing, which fully opened to traffic in 2018.
Designed to last at least
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Benefits of the New Bridge
The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge carries eight wider general traffic lanes (four each on the westbound and eastbound spans), emergency shoulders, dedicated bus lanes, and includes space for commuter rail in the future. It has a 1.5 percent grade compared to 3 percent on the old Tappan Zee Bridge. This gentle incline allows large trucks to maintain consistent speed and reduce engine and braking noise. The new bridge also features gently banked curves to further smooth traffic flow and reduce accidents. In 2016, cashless tolling went into effect, eliminating the need for drivers to slow down or stop and idle at a toll plaza.
The cable-stayed main span is supported by eight 419-foot towers, which stand at five-degree angles and feature a sleek, chamfered design. The iconic towers support 192 stay cables, which are made up of roughly 4,900 miles of steel strands. The bridge’s roadway is illuminated at night with dark-sky compliant LED light fixtures to reduce light pollution. The highly efficient system uses an estimated 75 percent less energy compared to traditional lighting technology.
To improve safety and mobility on the crossing, the Thruway Authority will track roadway and bridge conditions through a network of advanced monitoring systems, notifying staff of any disruptions and extreme weather conditions on the roadway. Motorists will be informed of accidents and closed lanes via overhead electronic signage, minimizing delays.
Routine and preventive maintenance work will also be efficiently scheduled through this state-of-the-art system. This vital communication network will make the bridge one of the most technologically advanced crossings in the United States when the project is fully complete.