Fifth lane experiment on TZ Bridge declared a success; will be used for a few weeks
Itâ€™s official: The new five Westchester-bound, two Rockland-bound lane pattern on the Tappan Zee Bridge will be used during the weekday morning rush for the next several weeks.
Ramesh Mehta, the New York State Thruway Authority’s Hudson Valley director, this morning said the two trial runs had been successful and the new lane configuration would be in place until 10 joint repairs in the right Westchester-bound lanes are completed.
The five lanes into Westchester will be in place from 6 to 8:30 a.m., at which time the barrier would be moved back to add a third Rockland-bound lane. In the evening, there will be four lanes into Rockland and three into Westchester.
The change was made this week to relieve traffic jams that stretched back 15 miles into Rockland. Commuters who travel to Westchester in the evening, though, still have to struggle using three lanes and with the raised metal construction plates, their travel times increasingly longer.
Mehta said Rockland-bound back-ups reached only two miles into Westchester this morning.
Traffic into Westchester was heavy and slow but kept moving.
Several elected officials from Rockland have gotten involved in the bridge plate issue. On Tuesday, state Sen. Thomas Morahan demanded changes from Thruway Authority Executive Director Michael Fleischer. That same day, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef wrote to Mehta calling the conditions on the bridge “simply unacceptable.” Also Tuesday, Legislator Ed Day asked Gov. David Paterson to launch an investigation into the conduct and handling of the construction repair project on the Tappan Zee Bridge by the Thruway Authority.
“It is unacceptable when any state agency, who by virtue of being a separate entity within our government, seemingly believes that they have no compelling need or motivation to act appropriately on behalf of our citizens,” Day wrote in his letter to Paterson.
Read more about this story tomorrow in The Journal News and on LoHud.com.