Bridge Reborn

Tappan Zee Repurposed into Reef




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The old Tappan Zee Bridge, a three-mile span over New York’s Hudson River, is being turned into several artificial reefs off Long Island. Barge loads of decades-old concrete chunks and steel will significantly expand a state-managed artificial reef program to provide new habitats that increase the diversity of marine life, promote recreational fishing and diving, and bolster economic development.

The Tappan Zee, which opened in 1955 and was replaced in 2017, was once a vital crossing just north of New York City, carrying nearly 140,000 vehicles a day at its peak. Some parts are destined for recycling centers and scrap yards, while others are being repurposed.


This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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