Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system to track construction vessels in the area of the New NY Bridge project. An interactive map showing vessel locations on the Hudson River is now available on the project website,NewNYBridge.com, for recreational and commercial boaters to get updated information on this very active construction zone.
The GPS tracking system is just one of the new boater safety enhancements being instituted by the New York State Thruway Authority, Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) and the United States Coast Guard as the summer boating season gets underway with the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
"With these new enhancements being put in place, boaters will be better protected, as will the construction crews working on the New New York Bridge," Governor Cuomo said. "Every precaution we take on this active work zone now will not only help keep people safe, but will also keep the project on-schedule and ultimately provide drivers with a less-congested commute and a safer bridge to get where they need to go."
The boater safety enhancements include:
- GPS tracking for TZC vessels and barges
- Interactive GPS webpage for recreational/commercial boaters
- Electronic geo-fence alarm system to monitor barge movement
- Enhanced mooring lines and inspection protocols for TZC barges
- Additional TZC deckhands and enhanced training program
- Proposed U.S. Coast Guard safety zone around mooring locations
- New lighted buoys and markers being installed24-Hour TZC safety/security patrols
- Enhanced marine law enforcement patrols
- Extended U.S. Coast Guard Regulated Navigation Area (RNA)
- New signage announcing the RNA on river
- "Slow, No Wake Speed Zone" in RNAAccess channel to be marked for Piermont boaters/marinas
- Boater Safety information being distributed to marinas, boat clubs, public launches
- New thermal imaging security camera system monitoring entire work zone
Some 90 Tappan Zee Constructors vessels are currently on the Hudson River in the project area and at the peak of activity this summer, 130 or more vessels could be in the work zone. Crew boats, tug boats, barge mounted cranes and barges – as well as temporary fixed platforms – are in the area of the existing Tappan Zee Bridge and may be moved at any time. Boaters are advised to use extreme caution in the area.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it is extending its Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) around the project site to 500 yards north and 500 yards south of the existing bridge. Boaters are advised to proceed with no wake at a maximum speed of five knots in this area, and to transit the main channel when traveling between the north and south sides of the bridge.
The RNA also allows the Coast Guard to limit or prohibit marine traffic in those areas if necessary. The RNA had already encompassed 200 yards south and 300 yards north of the bridge.
The Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors have also applied for a new safety zone around the 16 construction barge mooring locations at the site. No recreational vessel traffic will be allowed in the safety zone (see map here).
The GPS tracking map is for informational purposes and not intended for navigation.
More New NY Bridge boater safety information, including the U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners and construction site maps, can be found here: http://www.newnybridge.com/documents/boat-safety/index.html