New Tappan Zee bridge: The Largest Transportation Design-Build Project in U.S.

Mario M. Cuomo (Tappan Zee) Bridge - Photo courtesy New York Thruway Authority

New Tappan Zee Bridge Project: Rebuilding America's Infrastructure

The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, at 3.1 miles long, is a twin-span, cable-stayed replacement for the old Tappan Zee Bridge, crossing the Hudson River about 25 miles north of New York City. Its eight lanes carry the New York State Thruway, Interstate 87, and Interstate 287 as well as bus lanes during rush hour. Its design includes a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists and for future light rail or commuter rail service.

The 50,000 tons of structural steel that High Steel Structures LLC fabricated support the road deck and infrastructure for the east and west approach spans of the new Tappan Zee bridge.

Headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., High Steel partnered with Hirschfeld Industries, with headquarters in San Angelo, Texas, to deliver the 100,000 tons of fabricated steel required.

Photo courtesy New York Thruway Authority
“This is the largest contract that any High company ever executed. It puts us in a special place: We can do things that not everybody can.”
Jeff Sterner, President and COO of High Industries Inc.
highlight numbers from High Steel and New Tappan Zee Bridge project
“For us, success equals opportunities for improvement.”
Ronnie Medlock, Vice President of Technical Services, High Steel Structures

High Steel – a Key Contributor to the New Tappan Zee Bridge Construction

At a Glance:

  • High Steel was one of only a few U.S. companies able to meet this project’s enormous demand for fabricated steel
  • High Steel constructed nearly 800 girders, most weighing more than 100,000 pounds and 12 feet in depth
  • High Steel and High Transit met all contract commitments, with no major delays or problems
  • Designed and constructed to last 100 years without major structural maintenance
  • National Winner of the AISC 2020 Prize Bridge Awards


>>> Read more: High Structural Erectors Builds Bridges for Maryland’s Purple Line Light Rail

High steel quick fact

Mario Cuomo Bridge Facts


Former name  Tappan Zee Bridge
New official name  Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge 
Also known as  New Tappan Zee Bridge 
New NY Bridge
Meaning of official name  To commemorate former New York Governor Mario Cuomo
Location Connecting Rockland Westchester Counties
Construction period  2013 – 2018 
Cost of construction  $3.9 billion (New Tappan Zee Bridge replacement is the largest transportation design-build project in US history) 
Total length  3.1 miles (5 km) 
Height  419 ft (128 m) 
Toll fee 
  • Cars: $7.48 Tolls-by-Mail 
  • NY E-ZPass: $5.75 (eastbound/southbound only) 
  • Commercial vehicles pay variable toll based on their class and time of day (cashless toll) 


Most-updated toll adjustment can be found on the Thruway Authority’s website
Number of lanes 
  • 8 automobile lanes 
  • 2 bus lanes 
  • 2 pedestrian/bicycle lanes 

FAQs about New Tappan Zee Bridge Project

Evidence had shown that in the case of Tappan Zee bridge, replacement rather than repair would be more cost-effective and safer for drivers, not to mention better for the environment. Much of the old bridge was reused or recycled for other infrastructure projects.

The new Tappan Zee bridge project followed design-build delivery method. Under a design-build project, also known as a single-source project, a client signs a contract with one company to manage the design to the construction of the new property. This means more convenience and less risk for owner since they don’t have to manage multiple parties and the budget.

The Mario Cuomo bridge is made of structural steel fabricated by High Steel Structures LLC. High Steel partnered with Hirschfeld Industries to deliver the 100,000 tons of steel required for this bridge building project.

The Mario Cuomo is a twin cable-stayed bridge spanning the Hudson River between Tarrytown and Nyack in New York.

The bridge incorporated an S-curve alignment to avoid Port Authority territory.

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