Coast Guard closes half of channel near old Tappan Zee Bridge

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW YORK) — The Coast Guard has closed the eastern half of the channel in the Hudson River near the old Tappan Zee Bridge on Saturday.

On Friday evening, engineers requested Coast Guard assistance in closing the eastern half of the main federal navigation channel after an inspection of span on the remaining eastern portion of the old Tappan Zee Bridge had become destabilized and could fall.

The old Tappan Zee Bridge is not currently in use and is in the process of demolition.

The engineers notified watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New York to the issue at approximately 7:45 p.m. Friday night. 

Due to the uncertainty and need to ascertain the potential impact of a collapse, it was requested the Coast Guard institute an emergency safety zone. The Hudson River was then completely closed to vessel traffic at the Tappan Zee Bridge.

At noon Saturday, the western half of the federal navigation channel was opened to vessel traffic. Vessels may transit the area after checking in with the Coast Guard patrol commander enforcing the safety zone.

Coast Guard cutter Sturgeon Bay and a response boat crew from Maritime Safety and Security Team-New York, are on scene to enforce the safety zone. Other agencies assisting are Rockland County Sheriff, Westchester County Sheriff, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

The cause of the structural failure is still under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff