Tappan Zee labeled 'fracture-critical'

A new report shows the aging Tappan Zee Bridge is now considered "fracture-critical."

State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials are saying people shouldn't panic given the serious sounding nature of the term. They say "fracture-critical" is an industry term which means if a key support fails, the entire bridge could collapse.

The DOT says a fracture-critical bridge is still structurally sound as long as proper inspections and maintenance are performed.

Officials say there are thousands of bridges across the country with this same rating. Other spans in the Hudson Valley that made the list include the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.

The news comes just a few weeks after the president promised to speed up the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. A new bridge with eight lanes could be approved within a year.

There will be public briefings on the Tappan Zee Bridge project tomorrow at the Double Tree Hotel in Tarrytown and on Thursday, at the Palisades Center in West Nyack. Both meetings run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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