It's Back On: An Explosive End to the Tappan Zee Bridge

Westchester’s eastern anchor span of the old bridge will be demolished by controlled detonation. Here’s where to give it the send-off it deserves.

Update 1/14/19: Demolition of the bridge has been rescheduled for approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15, weather permitting. Once again, commuters are asked to plan alternate routes when possible and expect delays along the New York State Thruway in both directions around the demolition time.

Update 1/10/19: High winds on Thursday, January 10 have delayed this weekend’s lowering of the bridge’s anchor point. Per an update posted by TZC to the construction project’s website, in the event of inclement weather the detonation was to be rescheduled for the morning of Sunday, January 13, though that will no longer be the case. A new date is reportedly in the works, but has not yet been made publicly available.

Original story follows:

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It’s been a long time coming, but Westchester will finally say goodbye to its remaining portion of the old Tappan Zee Bridge this weekend, when a demolition team will use explosives to bring down the eastern anchor span.

The span has remained off-limits to workers since September 7, when a loud popping sound from the bridge was reported. Engineers later determined the span was no longer safe to deconstruct in-place, and plans were made for a controlled demolition. At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 12, contractor teams will initiate timed explosions to cause the 6,500 ton, 672-foot long span to fall away from the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo bridge and into the Hudson River, where marine salvage teams will recover the steel over the coming weeks.

Tappan Zee Contractors (TZC) is encouraging motorists to take alternate routes that morning, as traffic in both directions on the New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) between Exit 11 in Rockland and Exit 9 in Westchester will be halted for about 45 minutes, until teams determine the area is safe for motorists. Additionally, the main navigational channel of the Hudson itself will be closed for about 3 hours starting at 7:30 a.m., and U.S. Coast Guard teams will establish a 2,500-foot safety perimeter around the span.

TZC is assuring the public that both resident and environmental safety concerns have been accounted for, and have said that the explosions should be no noisier than a typical set of fireworks.

Read More: A Warm Farewell to the Old Tappan Zee Bridge

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While we do not recommend viewing the demolition from the Scenic RiverWalk at Pierson Park — it’s outside the safety perimeter but TZC’s contractors will be setting up wind blast monitors at the location to keep an eye on gusts caused by the span’s collapse — local eatery Sambal Thai & Malay in Irvington will be hosting a “Dim-Struction” party beginning at 9 a.m. to commemorate the event from the bridges’ south side.

At the same time in Dobbs Ferry, Half Moon will hold an early, reservation-only “Big Bang Brunch” to toast the towering edifice one last time.


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