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Here's What To Expect On New TZB During Old Bridge's Demolition

The safety zone around the explosive site.
The safety zone around the explosive site. Photo Credit: Tappan Zee Constructors

Motorists traveling on the new Tappan Zee Bridge on Saturday should be aware it will be closed for close to an hour when explosives are used to bring down part of the old bridge.

The closure is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 12, and last for at least 45 minutes according to officials with Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC).

During the closure, demolition and salvage experts will be deconstructing what remains of the old Tappan Zee Bridge in the Hudson River. 

Explosive charges will be used to safely detonate support columns on the bridge’s east anchor span, and specialty marine salvage equipment will be utilized to remove the material from the river in the following weeks.

The sounds from the explosives should not be louder than standard fireworks, the company said. 

During the demolition, there will be no traffic on the new bridge and traffic will be stopped in both directions on the Thruway (I-87/I-287) – between Exits 11 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) and 9 (Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow – Route 9).  

The traffic stop will be lifted after TZC determines the area is safe to reopen.

In addition to traffic, the Hudson River’s main navigation channel will temporarily be closed at 7:30 a.m. for approximately three hours. No residential areas are within the safety zone, and local residents are not anticipated to be affected. However, monitors placed in key locations in Westchester and Rockland counties will monitor any vibrations or air-blasts generated by the demolition.

Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid the area and find alternate routes on the day of the demolition. Metro-North Railroad service on the Hudson Line may only be minimally affected.

 “Westchester County residents should not be alarmed by the plans for demolition, as the process is being handled in a careful, safe manner," said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. "The U.S. Coast Guard has established a 2,500-foot safety radius around the site, and no residential areas are within that safety zone.”

TZC said using the explosives has been deemed the safest way to remove the remaining span of the old bridge after extensive study.

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