Views from the bridge

A new bicycle and pedestrian path on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, slated to open later this year, will offer visitors six vantage point on the cultural history of the region.

Even though you have to take your eyes off the road and stretch your neck to see it, the view from our new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge) is arguably one of the best in our area — especially on a clear summer day. Soon, people of all ages will get to enjoy the view at their leisure when a 3.6-mile bicycle and pedestrian path (a shared use path or SUP for short) opens later this year.

The 12-foot-wide path will be separated from traffic by a concrete barrier and located on the northern side of the westbound span of the bridge. Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to access “The Path” (as it will be known) from two “landings,” in Tarrytown in Westchester and South Nyack in Rockland. These landing centers will feature parking lots, restrooms, bicycle repair stations, food trucks, tourist information and various other amenities. 

However, one of the most anticipated features of The Path are the six themed overlooks located at intervals across the length of the bridge. These points command an impressive view of the majestic Hudson and its surroundings. Given clever names such as The Tides of Tarrytown or Painters Point, each belvedere (a structure designed to command a view) reflects an aspect of the culture and history of the lower Hudson Valley.

On its website, the New York State Thruway Authority provides more details on what is planned for each overlook:

Fish & Ships — Celebrates the waterfront history of the Nyacks (NAY-ACK is the Native American term for “fishing place”). The timber-clad stainless-steel benches of this overlook call to mind a school of fish, while the shade structure takes its inspiration from Nyack’s shipbuilding history.

Palisades — Highlighting the unique geology of the region, Palisades will feature a multifaceted granite bench that evokes the namesake cliffs rising steeply above the western bank of the river. Sunlight is filtered through the overlook’s perforated shade structure, mimicking the shadows created by the nearby forest canopy.

Painters Point — Mirroring the muse-like qualities of the Hudson River that has inspired artists throughout the years, Painters Point will feature an integrated bronze and wood shade structure/seating element that serves as both a viewing frame of the river and Hook Mountain but also a stage encouraging impromptu performance. A stepped prow (projected area) with steel grading provides visitors with views of the river directly below.

River Crossing — Approximately halfway across the river, this outlook focuses on the historical connection and modes of transportation between the villages of Nyack and Tarrytown before, during and after the Tappan Zee Bridge. It will also feature a prow and inlaid lettering pointing to shoreline landmarks. The lattice detail of the canopies and oval cut-out in the benches are a nod to the former span.

Half Moon — This overlook, adjacent to the river’s navigation channel and named after the ship captained by Henry Hudson in 1609, speaks to the region’s nautical history. Half Moon features a prow with steel grating allowing for direct views of the river below, a curved timber bench and compass lines in the canopy and granite pavement.

Tides of Tarrytown — This overlook features timber-clad terraced seating that also functions as an elevated viewing platform. The mirror-polished, stainless-steel canopy overhead captures and reflects the unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline to the south.

Outdoor enthusiasts, “stay-cationers” and weekend warriors are no doubt anticipating the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery and explore the surrounding region in a new way. Besides the stunning vantage points, The Path promises to bring a recreational, cultural and economic boost to the entire region. That’s what we call a beautiful view.

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