Six new belvederes, or scenic overlooks, that are part of the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge’s (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge) shared bike and pedestrian path are bringing much-needed outdoor social space to the Lower Hudson Valley. These resting points reflect the culture and history of the area and provide a new connection for non-motorized transport in the region, offering an exciting recreational opportunity that doesn’t currently exist in Rockland or Westchester counties. Construction manager EW Howell brought the six belvederes to reality through an extensive design-build process, which included the creation of custom fabricated illuminated canopies and benches. The belvederes each have a unique theme and name—Fish and Ships, Painter’s Point, River Crossing, Half Moon, Tides of Tarrytown and Palisades—illustrated by different design concepts, which required the construction of one-of-a-kind sculpted seating areas of stainless steel, glass, granite and wood. EW Howell worked with specialty engineers and the project architect, HDR, to develop final designs for the glass parapet enclosure, to provide unobstructed views from each belvedere, a challenge due to the strict tolerances of the bridge, wind load requirements and bridge deck curved contour profiles.
The pedestrian paths and scenic overlooks opened to the public this summer and feature 10 public art pieces commissioned by ArtsWestchester and the Arts Council of Rockland as well as three local food trucks along the 3.6-mile path. The project included the Westchester Terminus on the Westchester end of the shared-use path, which features an illuminated glass-enclosed visitor pavilion center and surrounding park of granite hardscape.
The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is a visually striking, recognizable landmark, and one of the widest cable-stayed structures of its kind in the world. It includes eight general traffic lanes, four breakdown/emergency lanes, and state-of-the-art traffic monitoring systems as well as space for dedicated bus lanes. Designed and constructed to be mass-transit ready, the new crossing can accommodate bus rapid transit, light rail or commuter rail. Learn more about the project in the Winter 2020 issue of Metals in Construction magazine.