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Tarrytown Resident Remembers Tappan Zee Bridge Construction Past, Present

A promotional film from the New York State Thruway Authority celebrates the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge, then "the largest bridge of its type in the world."
A promotional film from the New York State Thruway Authority celebrates the opening of the Tappan Zee Bridge, then "the largest bridge of its type in the world." Video Credit: YouTube
A promotional video for the New NY Bridge -- Bridge Rising
A promotional video for the New NY Bridge -- Bridge Rising Video Credit: YouTube
The construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge on a rainy day in December 2014.
The construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge on a rainy day in December 2014. Photo Credit: Tappan Zee Bridge

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – When the Tappan Zee Bridge was first built in the 1950s, Gloria Verrone could hear the clanging and banging from her home.

Those familiar sounds from the 88-year-old lifelong Tarrytown resident’s past have returned. Verrone now can hear Tappan Zee Constructors working on the new $3.1 billion bridge.

“Before the bridge came, there used to be a ferry boat that used to go across the Hudson River to Nyack,” recalls Verrone.

“A lot of people used to ride it. It was very inexpensive. Those were nice times.”

Verrone was working for then-North Tarrytown company P.R. Mallory , that made batteries and eventually merged with Duracell. A huge parade was held in Tarrytown when the bridge opened on Dec. 15, 1955.

Click here to see a picture of the parade.

“The company had a float in the parade and five or six girls were picked out to be in the parade, I was one of them,” Verrone told Daily Voice.

“There were a lot of politicians and, boy, was it a big affair! After the parade there was a big dinner up at Tappan Hill with all the politicians.”

The new bridge will last 100 years and be completed in 2018.

“I can look out where I live and can see the construction of the bridge going up now,” said Verrone. “Every once and a while I got across to the Palisades Mall and you can see what they are doing. It looks like it’s coming along very well.”

Verrone says it is interesting to see the new bridge being erected alongside the old bridge.

“They started from the Nyack side and you call tell where the road is going to because they are putting all of the piles in the river in Tarrytown,” said Verrone. “I can even hear when they work on the piles.”

She says the bridge construction will probably “be very good for the state and for the people.” However, the potential $16 toll costs concern her.

“That’s a lot of money to cross the bridge,” Verrone told Daily Voice. “It might stop people from going over there to do any shopping and instead stay on this side of the bridge.

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