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Old Tappan Zee Bridge Gets Demolition Date

Thursday, January 10, 2019

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What remains of the old Tappan Zee Bridge will be demolished on Saturday (Jan. 12), according to reports. Explosive charges will be used on the structure’s vertical support columns along the bridge’s east anchor span, aiming for the bridge to fall away from the navigation channel.

The demolition will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and Tappan Zee Constructors, working with other project engineers, will be spearheading the process. The old Tappan Zee spanned the Hudson River from 1955 to 2017.

Tappan Zee Bridge Remains

Back in May, it was announced that pieces of the original bridge were used to supplement half a dozen reefs off Long Island.

According to The New York Times, the function behind the endeavor was twofold: Disposing of the old bridge parts this way was both affordable and practical, while also providing new habitats for marine life. Currently, New York state maintains 12 artificial reefs: two in Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay and eight in the Atlantic Ocean. Six of these were slated to receive pieces of the old bridge.

According to state officials, all materials would be cleaned thoroughly before being submerged. The cost of transporting the materials amounts to $5 million, with 29 barges of material total being hauled away. The cost was covered by the New York State Power Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors.

At the end of August, concrete and steel from demolition of the span were sunk 2.4 miles south of the Moriches Inlet to create an artificial reef. All told, 11,000 tons of recycled steel and concrete were used to supplement the state’s artificial reef program.

Final Demolition

Marine salvage teams will now salvage remaining steel with chains previously placed along the riverbed. (The chains will support the structure in the river.) Over the next few weeks, barges will remove the steel. The east anchor span is reportedly damaged but stable, though some components are “highly stressed.”

“The charges will be used to deliberately fail vertical members supporting the span, allowing the demolition team to safely lower the span eastward, away from the main navigation channel, using specialty marine salvage equipment,” Tappan Zee Constructors said in a community outreach notice.

State contractors have also noted that sound from the explosion will be similar to a single set of fireworks going off.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Demolition; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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