Last Span of Tappan Zee Bridge Removed

Tappan Zee Constructors is the organization that is dismantling the Tappan Zee Bridge. Since 2018, five sections of the 2,415-foot main span of the old bridge have been removed.

The final steel section of the Tappan Zee Bridge has come down. Removing the last piece of superstructure of the old bridge -- the 600-foot-long, 5,500-ton west anchor span -- is part of the project to build the 3.1-mile Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, a twin-span cable-stayed bridge linking Westchester and Rockland counties across the Hudson River. It fully opened to traffic last summer.

The removal operation began May 9 and was completed successfully, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced May 13. "The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is another unprecedented investment in New York's transportation infrastructure that will continue to advance the economy in the Hudson Valley and beyond," he said. "Though it served the Hudson Valley for decades, the old Tappan Zee Bridge ultimately came to symbolize government gridlock and a lack of vision. Today, we are investing in world-class infrastructure across New York State, and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is yet another example of New York's nation-leading efforts to build boldly for the future."

The Tappan Zee Bridge opened in December 1955, at the time the longest bridge in New York State. It was considered a significant engineering accomplishment, according to the governor's office; designed by engineer Emil H. Praeger, the Tappan Zee was the first permanent bridge in the United States to be supported in part by buoyant caissons. The caisson design made it possible to build the bridge at one of the widest points of the Hudson River by reducing the load on the steel piles supporting the main span. It became the final link in the 570-mile New York State Thruway system, stimulating economic growth in both Westchester and Rockland counties.

Tappan Zee Constructors is the organization that is dismantling the Tappan Zee Bridge. Since 2018, five sections of the 2,415-foot main span of the old bridge have been removed. TZC lowered the west anchor span onto a barge and move it off site for disassembly, and TZC is working with marine salvage experts to remove the old bridge's east anchor span from the Hudson River in the coming weeks, the governor's news release stated.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The old Tappan Zee Bridge proudly served motorists for more than six decades, but its time had passed. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is a world-class crossing providing reliability for motorists and businesses alike, by reducing congestion and delivering more dependable travel times."