Riverkeeper: TZB demolition will be 'safe' with 'little impact'

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WESTCHESTER -

As plans move forward to demolish the old Tappan Zee Bridge, Tappan Zee Constructors is assuring concerned community members that it is fully prepared to take down what's left of the old bridge while keeping drivers on the new bridge and the environment safe.

Riverkeeper John Lipscomb says he's dedicated to protecting the Hudson River.

“We visualize a big explosion [when we think of the removal of the east anchor span.]” He says. “We see a World War Two scene, and that's not what's happening here.”

Lipscomb says the east span must come down because it's structurally unstable.

MORE: Tappan Zee Bridge coverage

He says that contractors will drop the old bridge in a controlled process in which the structure will drop straight onto a system of chains on the bottom of the river. The chains will then winch up the structure so workers can cut off the steel as it comes out of the water.

Regarding the demolition’s impact on wildlife, the riverkeeper says that if there's any time to do a demolition like this, it's in January because the river is at its quietest time. Migrating stocks of herring and Atlantic sturgeon all went to sea in the fall and should return in April.

“[Tappan Zee Constructors] has gone to great lengths to research this and try to make it safe first and of little impact, second,” says Lipscomb.

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