In a surprise move, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday afternoon that the Westchester-bound lanes of the new Tappan Zee Bridge will open to traffic next Friday, Oct. 6.
The Thursday announcement puts the $3.9 billion project, the largest of its kind in the country, weeks ahead of schedule.
During the shift to the new lanes, Thruway officials said motorists traveling on the southbound/eastbound New York State Thruway should plan for multiple lane closures and a brief traffic stoppage so workers can safely reconfigure the Rockland and Westchester landings and stripe the lanes at both ends of the 3.1-mile crossing.
All four Rockland-bound (northbound/westbound) lanes will remain open during the operation.
One the shift is made, traffic will consist of four lanes in each direction, separated by a concrete barrier. This will allow Tappan Zee Constructors to demolish the landings of the old bridge, which occupy the same footprint of the second span and connect the second span to land.
Here are details about the Friday night, Oct. 6, traffic shift (rain date: Saturday, Oct. 7):
- Two southbound/eastbound lane closures in South Nyack will begin sometime after 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Two lanes will remain open during the operation except when state police stop and briefly hold traffic for up to 20 minutes.
- The southbound/eastbound Thruway exit 10 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) on-ramp will be closed at approximately 9 p.m. Southbound/eastbound drivers will be detoured to the exit 11 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) on-ramp.
- The southbound/eastbound Thruway exit 9 (Tarrytown – Sleepy Hollow – US Route 9) off-ramp will be closed at approximately 9:30 p.m. Southbound/eastbound drivers will be detoured to the exit 8A (Elmsford - NY Route 119 - Saw Mill River Parkway North).
At approximately 10 p.m., state police will stop and hold all traffic for up to 20 minutes of all four lanes of the southbound/eastbound Thruway. The traffic stop will allow workers to stage operations, stripe lanes at both ends of the bridge and shift barriers and equipment. Motorists can expect delays during this transition and should allow for extra travel time or consider an alternate route.
The new traffic pattern – with four lanes in each direction on the first span - will remain in effect until the second span is complete in 2018.
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