A section of New York’s old Tappan Zee bridge was demolished Tuesday morning, as explosives attached to the former span were detonated and sent it plummeting into the Hudson River. Since 1955, the Tappan Zee has carried travelers across the Hudson about 30 miles north of New York City—but in recent years, drivers have complained about the bridge’s notoriously bad infrastructure. Gov. Andrew Cuomo even got in on the criticism in 2017, the New York Daily News notes, when he recalled dreaming up how he would escape if the bridge collapsed. “‘Do I take off the seatbelt? Do I open the window?’ I had one of those special tools with the hammer and the seatbelt cutter,” Cuomo said, adding that “I think it traumatized an entire generation.” The Tappan Zee has already been replaced by the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, an homage to his father. Officials originally worried that demolishing the old bridge could harm the Hudson’s marine life—but the span was reportedly so structurally shaky that an explosion was the only option.
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