Meeting held on Tappan Zee Bridge

The Coast Guard is issuing new rules for recreational boaters on the Hudson River near the new span. (3/26/14)

NYACK - A public meeting was held Wednesday for updates on the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. 

Officials from the governor's office, Thruway Authority and construction crews gave a progress report and answered questions about construction timelines, new design features and more. 

Special Advisor for the Tappan Zee Bridge project, Brian Conybeare, says one of the most exciting aspects of the plan is the proposed shared-use path where residents can bike, jog and walk, with 6 scenic overlook paths. 

PHOTOS: Tappan Zee Bridge

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State officials say that the biggest focus for the $3.9 billion project this year will be the installation of pylons that will ultimately support the new span.

As construction moves forward, the Coast Guard is making some changes designed to improve boater safety on the Hudson River near the span.

New rules for recreational boaters are being issued this season. The Coast Guard is expanding the area where boaters face speed restrictions from 200 yards south and 300 yards north of the Tappan Zee Bridge to 500 yards in both directions.

Plus, during certain construction work, the Coast Guard may completely ban recreational boat traffic in the area.

State officials also say that GPS tracking devices will be installed on all the barges. Boaters will be able to go to a website and map out the location of the barges.

The new restrictions come after last summer's accident in which a Rockland bride-to-be and her fiancé's best man were killed when the boat they were riding in slammed into a construction barge at night.

New lights have also been installed to better define the navigation channel under the bridge.

Over the course of the next few months, there could be 100 or more boats and barges for Tappan Zee constructors, so it will be a very active work zone.

Another meeting is being held Thursday night at Nyack High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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