Jan. 15 (UPI) -- More than six decades after it first opened, a 672-foot section of Tappan Zee Bridge came crashing down to the Hudson River in an explosive demolition.
The dynamite charges went off at 10:52 a.m., causing the structure to fall 142 feet to a net below so that workers can cut up and remove the debris.
Officials closed traffic in both directions on the Tappan Zee's nearby replacement, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, during the demolition.
ABC News reported that workers initially planned the dismantle the bridge section by section, but switched to the current demolition plan after hearing popping noises coming from the structure in September.
"Through extensive engineering analysis, it has been determined that this is the safest method to proceed with lowering the span given its current state," Tappan Zee Constructors, the demolition company, said.
Spectators gathered on the banks of the Hudson River to watch the destruction.
"This is history, something you'll tell your grandchildren about," Billy Millen, of Yonkers, told the Rockland/Westchester Journal News.
The new Tappan Zee Bridge, officially named after former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, opened to traffic Oct. 6, 2017. The older bridge had been designed to last only about 50 years, and after more than six decades and rising maintenance costs, the state decided to replace it. Construction began on the Cuomo bridge in 2013.