Skip to Main Content
NYS Thruway Authority Home

For Immediate Release: 09/28/17
Contacts: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (914) 524-5444 | (518) 471-5300 


All Traffic Will Be on First Span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge After Shift

Motorists Will Have Four Travel Lanes in Each Direction

Temporary Traffic Pattern to Remain in Effect Until Second Span Opens Next Year

All Four Rockland-bound Travel Lanes will Remain Open During Traffic Shift

TARRYTOWN — The Thruway Authority today announced that operations to shift Westchester-bound traffic to the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will begin weeks earlier than planned, taking place the night of Friday, Oct. 6, weather permitting. Motorists traveling on the southbound/eastbound New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) should plan for multiple lane closures and a brief traffic stoppage so workers can safely reconfigure the Rockland and Westchester landings and stripe the lanes at both ends of the 3.1-mile crossing. All four Rockland-bound (northbound/westbound) lanes will remain open during the operation.

The new bridge consists of two spans. In late August, the Thruway Authority opened the first span to Rockland-bound traffic with a temporary traffic pattern consisting of four lanes, while Westchester-bound traffic continued to use the Tappan Zee Bridge. On Friday, Oct. 6, all Westchester-bound traffic will be shifted to the first span from the old bridge.

Traffic will consist of four lanes in each direction (see graphic below), separated by a concrete barrier. This will allow Tappan Zee Constructors to demolish the landings of the old bridge, which occupy the same footprint of the second span, and connect the second span to land.

new span cross section - phase 2b

The posted speed limit on the new bridge will remain 45 mph for the safety of motorists. The Thruway Authority strongly encourages motorists to abide by the reduced speed limit and remain alert as they travel over the new bridge. All lanes on the new bridge will be similar in width to the lanes on the old bridge.

Here are details about the Friday night, Oct. 6, traffic shift (rain date: Saturday, Oct. 7):

  • Two southbound/eastbound lane closures in South Nyack will begin sometime after 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Two lanes will remain open during the operation except when State Police stop and briefly hold traffic for up to 20 minutes. The Thruway Authority will continually monitor traffic conditions and make adjustments as needed.

The southbound/eastbound Thruway exit 10 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) on-ramp will be closed at approximately 9 p.m. Southbound/eastbound drivers will be detoured to the exit 11 (Nyack – South Nyack – US Route 9W) on-ramp, shown below.

Rockland OnRamp


The southbound/eastbound Thruway exit 9 (Tarrytown – Sleepy Hollow – US Route 9) off-ramp will be closed at approximately 9:30 p.m. Southbound/eastbound drivers will be detoured to the exit 8A (Elmsford - NY Route 119 - Saw Mill River Parkway North ) shown below.


At approximately 10 p.m., State Police will stop and hold all traffic for up to 20 minutes of all four lanes of the southbound/eastbound Thruway. The traffic stop will allow Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors workers to stage operations, stripe lanes at both ends of the bridge and shift barriers and equipment. Motorists can expect delays during this transition and should allow for extra travel time or consider an alternate route.

After the traffic shift:

  • Two southbound/eastbound lanes on the new bridge will initially open to traffic. All four southbound/eastbound lanes are expected to be open no later than 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.
  • The exit 10 on-ramp is scheduled to re-open by 6:00 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 7.
  • The exit 9 off-ramp is scheduled to re-open by 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 7.

Variable Message Signs along the Thruway and other highways in the region will be activated to inform motorists of the traffic shift. Motorists are encouraged to tune to Thruway Highway Advisory Radio for updates.

This traffic pattern – with four lanes in each direction on the first span - will remain in effect until the second span is complete in 2018. At that time, motorists will experience the full benefits of the twin-span crossing with its 12-foot wide driving lanes, the addition of safety shoulders and lanes for emergency vehicles. Construction of a bicycle and walking path with six unique viewing areas will begin on the westbound span after eastbound traffic has been transferred to the eastbound span.

Under the leadership of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Thruway tolls, including those on the new bridge, are frozen at their current levels until at least 2020.

Approximately 50 million vehicles crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge in 2016.


Motorists can sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding Thruway traffic conditions at

Follow us on Twitter @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway

Like us on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority

Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit for real-time traffic updates.

To see an interactive map including Google traffic conditions for the Thruway and other roadways in New York State and beyond, go to:

Thruway Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) stations broadcast traffic advisories, road conditions, and safety tips 24-hours-a-day. HAR frequencies can be found at