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How the Tappan Zee Became the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Photos by David Rocco

A Westchester photographer documents the journey to replace the Tappan Zee with the Gov. Mario. M. Cuomo Bridge over seven years in the Hudson Valley.

On June 15, 2020, when the 3.6-mile shared-use pedestrian/bicycle path opened on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the seven-year construction project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge came to a close. Here, Westchester County award-winning photographer David Rocco — who traveled aboard helicopters, trains, and boats to capture the $3.98 billion project — shares just a few of the hundreds of images he has snapped since 2013.


The first assembled steel section transport from Port of Coeymans, NY, to the job site. Crews in Coeymans fabricated triple and double assembled sections ranging in length from 300 feet to more than 400 feet.


In the ceremonial first drive across the Rockland-bound span, Governor Andrew Cuomo takes 98-year-old Armando “Chick” Galella for a ride. In December 1955, Galella, a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attacks, drove the same make and model across the Tappan Zee Bridge the day that bridge opened.


The center section of the Westchester-bound span is placed.


A controlled demo explosion of the east anchor pier.


During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the bridge is lit in blue as a tribute to first responders and healthcare workers.

Photo by David Rocco


After seven long years and thousands of man hours to build the new Tappan Zee replacement bridge, the public was finally allowed to utilize the non-vehicle multi-use pathway on the Rockland-bound side of the new twin bridges, connecting Westchester and Rockland Counties.