New York State Thruway Authority

Travel Advisory: Extended Traffic Stop Planned on New York State Thruway to Accommodate Controlled Demolition of Old Tappan Zee Bridge on Saturday, Jan. 12

Written By: New York State Thruway Authority

NEW YORK, NY — On Saturday morning, Jan. 12, the New York State Thruway Authority is planning an extended traffic stop as a result of a controlled demolition of the old Tappan Zee Bridge by Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), the contractor responsible for the old bridge structure. The traffic stop on a portion of the New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) is expected to last approximately 45 minutes. The Thruway Authority encourages drivers to avoid the area and find alternate routes during that time.

In response to Tappan Zee Constructor’s decision to remove the bridge on Jan. 12 at approximately 9 a.m., crews will begin to close entrance ramps to the northbound/westbound Thruway at:


Exit 9 (Tarrytown – Sleepy Hollow – Route 9)

Route 119 in Elmsford

Saw Mill Parkway (Exit 22)


Entrance ramps to the southbound/eastbound Thruway will also be closed at:


Exit 10 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W)

Exit 11 in Nyack (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W).


State Police also will stop traffic in both directions on Interstate 87/287 between exit 11 in Nyack (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) and exit 9 (Tarrytown – Sleepy Hollow – Route 9) in Tarrytown for approximately 45 minutes. State Police will reopen the ramps and release traffic after TZC has determined that the area is safe.

Motorists are strongly advised to avoid travel in this area during this time. Those traveling in the vicinity of this operation should expect severe delays and plan accordingly, including seeking alternate routes.

Starting today, Variable Message Signs across the region and Highway Advisory Radio 530 AM will advise motorists about the upcoming traffic stop, ramp closures and expected extended delays.

In case of inclement weather, the operation will be postponed until the morning of Sunday, Jan. 13.

The controlled demolition is part of the TZC’s on-going efforts to remove the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

In September 2018, TZC with project engineers, learned that the old Tappan Zee Bridge’s east anchor span, which was already out of service, was damaged but stable with certain key components highly stressed. Since that time, the span has been closely monitored, and it has been determined that the original removal plan is no longer the safest method of removal.

Following a careful and extensive review of dismantling operations and additional engineering analyses, TZC has determined that a revised means of controlled demolition utilizing charges is the safest way to lower and remove the span. TZC has hired demolition and salvage experts to plan and accomplish this operation.

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. Marine salvage experts will then remove the material from the river during the following weeks.