Fears that the old Tappan Zee Bridge could collapse caused the entire Hudson river under the bridge to be closed and the opening of a new span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge to be delayed overnight Friday.
Engineers working on the bridge discovered that a section of the old bridge was under "weakening strength" Friday, US Coast Guard petty officer Steve Stohmaier said.
He said it could cause a potential issue if it were to collapse into the river.
The discovery saw the entire Hudson River under the Tappan Zee and Mario Cuomo bridges closed to maritime traffic about midnight, officials said.
The planned opening of the second span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was also delayed due to collapse fears.
"In continued disassembly of the old Tappan Zee Brige last night, a potentially dangerous situation developed where a piece of the old bridge has become destabilized and could fall," New York State Thruway Authority spokesman Matthew Driscoll said in a statement.
Here is what the old Tappan Zee Bridge looked like:
Here is what the newly constructed replacement looks like (to the right of the old bridge):
Workers have been dismantling the old bridge as the new replacement was built and a large section of that old bridge is now in danger of collapse.
"Given its proximity to the new completed span, out of abundance of caution, motorists will remain in the current traffic configuration until a thorough evaluation by Tappan Zee Constructors is complete," he said.
The second span "is finished and ready to open to traffic as soon as the Thruway Authority is assured there is no risk to the new span," he added.
Westchester-bound traffic was supposed to transition to the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge's second span overnight Friday.