Tappan Zee Bridge Project

Posted by Nucor Grating on Dec 20, 2018, 9:01:00 AM

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Just under 20 miles north of New York City, spanning the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties, is the Tappan Zee Bridge. Since it originally opened for traffic in 1955, the bridge has transported approximately 140,000 vehicles a day across its three-mile span, becoming a vital artery for commuters and travelers in this highly populated area.


However, after over 60 years of use, the longest bridge in New York state was nearing the end of its lifespan. With traffic far exceeding what it was designed to support, and an increasing need for more room for vehicles and maintenance, it was time to start anew in the Hudson Valley.


Costing $3.98 billion, the new bridge now holds the claim as the largest in New York state history. It is named the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, after the former Governor of New York and will stretch 3.1 miles across the Hudson, sitting right next to its predecessor.


With a project as massive and ambitious as this, it was only natural that Nucor Grating be brought in as part of the team tasked with designing, engineering, and manufacturing the bridge. Construction began in 2013, with the opening ceremony for the bridge held in late 2018. The new twin-span bridge has eight lanes for car traffic, a bicycle and walking path, new roadside shoulders, and dedicated bus lanes in each direction.

Our Role

Nucor Grating was brought in to assist in the manufacturing of over five miles of catwalks, to be used for inspections and maintenance. The walkways are attached to the bridge’s superstructure beneath the road surface and were put together in 12-feet-long sections.


The pieces were assembled at an off-site facility, with the handrails and supports made first. Then, the Nucor-made grating was welded into place.


To say this was a large order would be an understatement. Almost 400 tons of serrated bar grating were manufactured, with no piece coming in larger than 3’ x 3’ in size. Nucor Grating helped to decide on the specifics of the grating materials, and concluded that 19-4, 1 ½ inch x 3/16-inch serrated bar grating would be the best choice for this project.


Once again, the sheer size of the project was one of the most intimidating aspects – when completed, approximately 8,200 pieces in total were manufactured and shipped. Most of these originated from Nucor Grating’s state-of-the-art mill in Jackson, Mississippi. Teams from across the company worked in conjunction and created a seamless process to design, manufacture, package, and ship the product to ensure not only did the final product meet the highest of standards, but that it arrived at the project site as quickly as possible and in a way that would expedite the building process.

About Bar Grating

Tru-Weld bar grating is forge-welded, a system in which Nucor Grating was a pioneer. In this process the bearing bars and cross rods are permanently forged together by heat and pressure into a single unit construction, resulting in greater strength per pound than mechanical assembly methods. The twisted cross rods provide a non-slip walking surface. For applications where extremely slippery conditions prevail, Serrated bar grating offers a superior grip surface to the load bearing bars.

Bar grating types are specified by bearing bar spacing followed by cross rod spacing. In imperial measurements, bearing bar spacing is described in sixteenths of an inch. Therefore, Type 19 has bearing bar centers at 19/16 of an inch (or 1 3/16”). Type 15 has bearing bar centers at 15/16”. Type 11 is at 11/16” etc. The second number after the dash in the Type designation refers to the cross rod spacing. Cross rods are available in either 4” (standard) or 2” (special) spacings.

About Us

Nucor Grating is a significant supplier of grating products in both Canada and the United States. Our grating products are routinely used in the architectural world; the industrial world including: mining, petroleum, petrochemical, pulp & paper, water treatment, chemical, and power generation; the transportation industry including: rail road, airport and transport truck; commercial industry including: security, retail and public pools and in the military world.

Nucor Grating manufacturers a wide variety of shapes and sizes with various finishes which makes our grating products suitable for all kinds of applications. Stock products can be supplied quickly from strategically located sales and warehouse facilities, or custom jobs can be manufactured to very particular requirements by our personnel in either Imperial or Metric measurements.