Coast Guard crews are enforcing a safety zone surrounding 16 construction barge mooring locations at the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site.
No unauthorized vessels are allowed in the safety zone, which encompasses all navigable waters within a 200-yard radius of the largest machine on the project, the I Lift NY super crane, legally registered with the U.S. Coast Guard as the Left Coast Lifter.
In addition, marine law enforcement will be enforcing the rules of the expanded Regulated Navigation Areas (RNAs) east and west of the Safety Zone. The RNAs stretch 500 yards north and 500 yards south of the existing bridge.
The Eastern RNA will be extremely active; vessels transitioning to and from the eastern shoreline at Tarrytown should approach and depart to the north.
The Western RNA will be impassable at times and mariners should stay clear of the area.
Boaters are strongly urged to use the center 600 feet of the main channel, when available, to navigate in a north-south direction with no wake at a maximum speed of five knots.
Boaters should expect periodic partial closures of the main channel due to construction activities.
In June, the Coast Guard led an investigation after a tugboat submerged in the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was the second crash involving a tugboat at the bridge construction site in three months.
The Potomac tugboat was tied to a construction barge when it hit a cable under the Tappan Zee Bridge. Two people aboard the boat escaped safely by the time emergency responders arrived.
The boat was carrying up to 1,500 gallons of fuel. It did not immediately appear that any of the fuel leaked into the river. No one was hurt and it is unclear what caused the boat to sink.
"This incident is very troubling," said Rockland County Executive Ed Day at the time. "We expect a full investigation into the causes of this crash. We want assurances that all safety precautions are being taken as the new Tappan Zee Bridge is built."
Boater should tune to Marine Radio Channel 22A for U.S. Coast Guard advisories.
Mariners also should be aware that Tappan Zee Constructors will continue work in the vicinity of the side channels under the existing bridge.
Boaters are advised to stay clear of all overhead work and maintain a safe distance of 1,000 feet from all construction equipment and support vessels.
In addition, all bridge piers and abutments are protected by a 25-yard security zone. Additional temporary navigational lights have been installed on the existing bridge to further define the 600-foot navigation channel under the main span.
Permanent elements of the new bridge are lit per U.S. Coast Guard permit requirements, as are all moorings, barges and other equipment.
Boating while intoxicated is dangerous to the boater and others, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in remarks after signing a bill into law this week to stiffen penalties for those convicted of drunken boating in New York, lohud.com reported.
It allows judges to take prior convictions for drunken driving and impaired driving into account when sentencing, said the newspaper.
All mariners should consult the latest Coast Guard Legal Notice to Mariners before transiting this area at NewNYBridge.com/Boater.
Click here to follow Daily Voice Yorktown and receive free news updates.