A part of the Tappan Zee Bridge, next to the Mario Cuomo Bridge, in September 2018 (Mark Lennihan/AP/Shutterstock)
While the new Mario Cuomo Bridge is being hailed by at least one anonymous angry man as an example of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s innovation in infrastructure leadership, there’s still one thing marring the brand new structure—the remains of the old Tappan Zee Bridge. That will be corrected this weekend, when the Tappan Zee Bridge will be blown to smithereens in a “controlled explosion.” You’re next, MTA! [Update: Mother Nature is getting involved—Saturday’s explosion is now cancelled because of the high winds. More details below!]
According to NJ.com, the explosion will take place on Saturday morning (unless the weather forces it to Sunday):
Specifically, a carefully timed concussion is supposed to send the east bridge anchor toppling away from the new Mario Cuomo bridges and into steel nets below to keep it out of the Hudson River, according to the New York State Thruway Authority. The west anchor will be dismantled by contractors, said Jennifer Givens, a thruway spokeswoman…
Drivers who don’t want to get stuck traffic should stay away from the New York Thruway early Saturday morning. Thruway traffic will be held for about 45 minutes between Exit 11 for Nyack and Exit 9 for Tarrytown, starting at 9 a.m., officials said. The new Thruway bridge will be reopened once it is inspected.
Still, when things blow up, it’s an event, so a number of restaurants are offering deals and views of the destruction. Pier 701 in Piermont says on Facebook, “Join us 1/12/19 and witness history as they will be using explosives to demolish the Tappan Zee Bridge! We will be serving an all you can eat Breakfast Buffet from 8-11am for $22.95 per person!”
Lohud.com notes that another restaurant, TWK Community Market, “will offer its regular breakfast menu, and will stream the event but is also offering a special picnic basket featuring a choice of four sandwiches — The Next Exit, The TZer, The Super Mario, Ova Here Now — so spectators can take their meal to go and grab a prime position on the pier.”
Other restaurants along the Hudson are promoting things like a “Big Bang Brunch” (the Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry) and “Dim-Sum-struction of the Tappan Zee Bridge” (already sold out at Sambal Thai & Malay in Irvington), but since the pier in Piermont is a mile long, the authorities are bracing themselves.
Police Chief Michael O’Shea told NJ.com, “The issue we face in Piermont is we have thousands of visitors expected because the Piermont pier goes out into the river and has a perfect view… We expect a flood of cars. We have plenty of parking in municipal lots.”
Other parts of the Tappan Zee Bridge have been using for artificial reefing around New York—look at this calming video of a crane dumping pieces of the bridge into the Atlantic:
Lohud will be streaming the demolition on its Facebook page.
Update: Lohud reports that Tappan Zee Constructors, which built the Mario Cuomo Bridge, released a statement saying a Saturday explosion is a no go: “The sustained winds caused delays to the preparatory work of the planned demolition operation. We appreciate the patience of the local community, and once we have rescheduled the operation we will provide an update.”
Chief O’Shea said, “The high winds were a concern. With controlled demo, there’s a concern that stuff could blow into the channel of the shipping lane.”
It’s believed a new date will be released on Friday. Maybe Cuomo can get involved and fix this so we can see things get blown up!