Restoration in the future as Tappan Zee turns 56

The federal government announced it's fast-tracking any approvals for the Tappan Zee Bridge project to restore the aging span. Any plans would have to allow for more growth, as usage of the bridge has grown ever since it opened in December 1955.

The Tappan Zee, which connects Rockland and Westchester counties, was constructed at one of the widest parts of the Hudson River, being close to New York City but giving the state's Thruway Authority control of the bridge and tolls as opposed to the Port Authority.

When it first opened, the bridge was crossed by less than 20,000 vehicles a day. The total has since climbed to almost 140,000 a day, with around 170,000 during rush hour. The number is expected to grow even more, with estimates being around 200,000 by the year 2030.

Adjustments to accomodate the growing amount of traffic have been done over the years, including removing tolls from one direction and adding extra lanes to help handle rush hour traffic.

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