SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — All but one of the lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge reopened late Tuesday following the collapse of a giant crane.
The three northbound lanes on he bridge reopen at 5:15 p.m. One of the southbound lanes reopened at 7 p.m., and two more reopened at 8 p.m.READ MORE: Long Island Hoping For Best But Bracing For Worst As Nor'easter Approaches: 'Get Prepared Now'
The southernmost of the southbound lanes has sustained serious structural damage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo Cuomo said.
“It is what I would call significant damage. It’s clearly visible,” he said.
That lane sustained both surface damage, and damage underneath the bridge, Cuomo said.
Some surface plates had be put in place, and barriers had to be moved, ahead of the lane reopenings, Cuomo said.
Still, Cuomo advised that to avoid traffic jams, alternatives might be a good idea Tuesday evening even with lanes open in both directions. The George Washington Bridge, the Kingston Bridge and the Bear Mountain Bridge are all options, he said.
The Lincoln Tunnel far to the south, and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge 57 miles to the north, are also potential options, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.READ MORE: Remembering NYPD Officer Jason Rivera: Wake Held For 22-Year-Old Killed In Line Of Duty In Harlem
During the bridge closure masses of commuters had the sinking feeling of “so close and yet so far.”
For miles, there was nothing but brake lights — and even worse, vehicles powered off and drivers in the waiting zone instead of zipping home.
One woman, seen in a social media image taken by another driver, had a beach chair handy. She decided to use it since she wasn’t going anywhere.
Drivers know traffic jams are not the worst things ever to happen, so they think of the victims and they try to stay patient and ride the jam out.
For maritime traffic, a Smallboat crew from Coast Guard Station New York was enforcing a safety zone around the bridge.
Boaters were ordered not to enter the immediate vicinity of the crane collapse, and all boaters were ordered to heed caution for debris in the water. Vessels must travel slowly to prevent a wake.MORE NEWS: Health Officials Tracking New 'Stealth' Omicron Variant Spreading In Europe, Detected In US