Monday, March 16, 2015


Tappan Zee Bridge

     Before my son left for his long weekend in the New York City area, specifically in Tappan, NY, I happened to comment that his paternal Great Grandfather, George Henry Hughes aka Pop Pop, worked for American Bridge Company that constructed the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Garrett's host and good friend drove across the bridge so Garrett was able to say to me, "Mom, I drove across Pop Pop's bridge." Good thing too, it is about to be deconstructed and a new replacement build in the next couple of years.  
Photo postcard

     Pop Pop began working as a employee with American Bridge, located in the company town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania when he was 13.  He left the employ of the company to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I.  When he returned from service he was hired as a draftsman and stayed with the company until his retirement about 1961. 

     As a draftsman, I doubt Pop Pop had any input in the Tappan Zee project and yet, perhaps some of his job entailed "drafting" a plan for the American Bridge construction crews to follow when erecting bridge.  Long story short--Pop Pop was part of the team at American Bridge when the Tappan Zee was constructed in 1955.

     I found a very interesting video regarding the construction of the Tappan Zee in the 1950's. 

     And a couple of photos from the American Bridge photo file:

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© 2015, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

1 comment:

  1. Something interesting. This bridge was also designed in a modular fashion. What this means is that when a particular section of the bridge is eroded or damaged the restoration is fast enough to be done with traffic stopped. Each portion of the bridge is a panel. All that is required to fix any section is to unlock the panel from the moorings, utilize a crane to lift it off, lower a new panel into place, then relock the piece to the moorings once more. Something that crews can do in about a half-an-hour. Fast enough to simply stop NYC traffic, do it, then allow traffic to resume. Way to go Pop Pops, you hit form and function dead-to-rights.