Tappan Zee Bridge
The Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, almost always referred to as the Tappan Zee Bridge, is a cantilever bridge in New York over the Hudson River at one of its widest points, the Tappan Zee, named for an American Indian tribe from the area called the "Tappan", and zee being the Dutch word for "sea". It connects Nyack in Rockland County with Tarrytown in Westchester County. The total length of the bridge and approaches is 16,013 feet (4,881 m). The cantilever span is 1,212 feet (369.42 meters) providing a maximum clearance of 138 feet (42 m) over the water. The bridge is about 25 miles (40 km) north of Midtown Manhattan; the Manhattan skyline can be seen from the bridge on a clear day. The bridge is part of the New York State Thruway mainline, and also designated as Interstate 87 and Interstate 287. The span carries seven lanes of automotive traffic. The center lane can be switched between eastbound and westbound traffic depending on the prevalent commuter direction; on weekdays, the center lane is eastbound in the morning and westbound in the evening. The switch is accomplished via a movable center barrier which is moved by a pair of barrier transfer machines. Even with the switchable lane, traffic is frequently very slow. The bridge is one of the primary means of crossing the Hudson River north of New York City; it carries much of the traffic between southern New England and points west of the Hudson. As of January 2009 , each eastbound passenger car pays a toll of $5.00 cash, or $4.75 via E-ZPass. The "Commuter Plan" charges $3 per trip. If using fewer than 13 trips per month, the Commuter Plan is more expensive.

With the increasing demands for commuter travel taxing the existing bridges and tunnels, the Port of New York Authority had plans in 1950 to construct a bridge across the Hudson near Dobbs Ferry. The proposal was overridden by New York State Governor Thomas E. Dewey, who wanted to construct a bridge to connect the New York State Thruway across Westchester to the New England Thruway. The Port Authority promised its bondholders that it would not allow any other entity to construct a river crossing within its jurisdiction, which reached to a point one mile (1.6 km) south of Nyack and across to Piermont. A May 10, 1950 editorial in The New York Times suggested that a site in southern Dobbs Ferry or northern Hastings-on-Hudson, where the Hudson narrowed considerably from its three-mile (5 km) width at Tappan Zee, would be a more appropriate site, and suggested that Governor Dewey work with his counterpart, Governor of New Jersey Alfred E. Driscoll, to craft a compromise that would offer Thruway customers a discounted bridge fare at a more southerly crossing. Two days later, Governor Dewey announced that the Port Authority had dropped its plans to construct a bridge of its own. The location would be as close to the Tarrytown-Nyack line just outside the Port Authority's jurisdiction. Dewey stated that World War II military technology would be used in the bridge's construction. The site of the bridge, at the Hudson River's second-widest point, added to construction costs. The site was chosen to be as close as possible to New York City, while staying out of the 25-mile (40 km) range of the Port Authority's sphere of influence. A unique aspect about the design of the bridge is that the main span is supported by eight hollow concrete caissons. Their buoyancy supports some of the loads and helped to reduce costs. Construction started in March 1952 and the bridge opened for traffic on December 15, 1955, along with a 27-mile (43 km) long section of the New York State Thruway from Suffern to Yonkers. New York State Governor W. Averell Harriman signed a bill on February 28, 1956 to officially name the structure the Tappan Zee Bridge. In 1994, the name of Malcolm Wilson was added to the bridge's name upon the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor's office in December 1974, though it is almost never used when the bridge is spoken about colloquially. In 2009, the Tappan Zee Bridge was featured on The History Channel "The Crumbling of America" showing the infrastructure crisis in the United States.

Proposed replacement
The deteriorating structure, which bears far more traffic than it was designed for, has led to plans to repair the bridge or replace it with a tunnel or a new bridge. These plans and discussions were whittled down to six options and underwent environmental review. Part of the justification for the replacement of the bridge has been that it was constructed during material shortages during the Korean War and designed to last only 50 years. The collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minnesota on August 1, 2007 has renewed concerns about the bridge's structural integrity. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is studying the feasibility of either including a rail line across the new bridge or building the new bridge so a new rail line can be installed at a future date. The rail line, if built, will be located on a lower level, beneath the roadway. Commuter rail service west of the bridge in Rockland County is limited, and the MTA is studying expansion possibilities in Rockland County that would use the new bridge to connect with Metro-North's Hudson Line on the east side of the bridge along the Hudson River for direct service into Manhattan. On September 26, 2008, New York state officials announced their plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge with a new bridge that includes commuter-train tracks and lanes for high-speed buses. The bridge would cost $6.4 billion, while adding bus lanes from Suffern to Port Chester would cost $2.9 billion. Adding a rail line from the Suffern Metro-North station and across the bridge, connecting with Metro-North’s Hudson Line south of Tarrytown, would cost another $6.7 billion. The plan is being reviewed for environmental impact. Meetings by the New York State of Transportation with local communities were held in December 2009. They revised the replacement cost including road, rail, and bus to be $16 billion.

Suicide prevention
From 1998 to 2008, more than 25 people committed suicide on the Tappan Zee Bridge, according to the New York State Thruway Authority. On August 31, 2007, NYSTA officials added four phones ”“ two each on the Rockland and Westchester sides ”“ that connect callers via the Lifeline suicide prevention hotline to counselors at LifeNet or Covenant House. Signs reading "Life is Worth Living" and "When it seems like there is no hope, there is help" have been placed on the bridge. The most famous and notorious suicides that happened on the Tappan Zee Bridge are that of Scott Douglas on January 1, 1994 after brutally bludgeoning his wife Anne Scripps to death, and on September 24, 2009 his stepdaughter Annie Morrell Petrillo jumped from that same bridge to her death. Two US military service members jumped from the bridge to their deaths in 2010.