Down Comes the Western Span—Ever-So Slowly This Time

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by Barrett Seaman –

Since the spectacular controlled explosion in mid-January that brought down the eastern span of the old Tappan Zee Bridge, the pace of remaining demolition has been all but imperceptible. The biggest news in the last three months has been the birth of three peregrine falcon chicks on the top of one of the stanchions on the new bridge.

Close observers of the project should have known something big was going to happen, however, when it was announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo was leading a gaggle of Thruway officials and press on a boat trip into the middle of the Hudson, as he did on Friday morning, May 10. There they witnessed the carefully slow lowering of the 11 million pound western span onto waiting barges. From there it would be hauled down river, out of the shipping channel, to be dismantled and recycled.

The same fate awaits the remains of the eastern span, which has been languishing half-submerged like a beached leviathan for three and a half months. After that, the remaining demolition work will be hard to follow, as much of it will take place underwater. The plan remains to remove every ounce of the old Tappan Zee, right down to the riverbed.

May 10, 2019–Tarrytown– Governor Andrew M. Cuomo takes a boat tour on the Hudson River under the last remaining span of the original Tappan Zee Bridge which is being lowered onto barges underneath. The eastern span of the Tappan Zee, which was lowered by kinetic felling earlier this year, will also be removed from the river in the coming days/ (Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

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