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How to avoid the Tappan Zee Bridge traffic, find alternatives after crane collapse

Posted at 2:43 PM, Jul 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-19 18:39:45-04

NEW YORK — A collapsed crane on the Tappan Zee Bridge has blocked lanes going both ways and put traffic at a standstill for miles.

A sign in the Bronx warning of a crash after a crane collapsed on the Tappan Zee Bridge is pictured on July 19, 2016. (PIX11's Dan Mannarino)

A sign in the Bronx warning of a crash after a crane collapsed on the Tappan Zee Bridge is pictured on July 19, 2016. (Dan Mannarino/PIX11 News)

However, lanes were starting to open Tuesday night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

Three northbound lanes were opening a little after 5:15 p.m. On the southbound side, the first lane would open at 7 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.

Police are still encouraging the more than 135,000 cars that use the bridge daily to find alternative routes to travel between Rockland and Westchester counties as traffic will be affected.

Officials are telling commuters to exit I-87 northbound at Exit 8 and southbound at Exit 15 in order to avoid the Tappan Zee.

By the morning commute Wednesday, officials expect all lanes to be open except for one damaged southbound lane, Cuomo said.

Here are some ways to get to your destination in the face of what a local police chief has called a "traffic nightmare."

Metro-North Railroad

Metro-North Railroad announced a number of changes to their ticketing policies amid the crane collapse.

The Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and Newburgh-Beacon Ferry will honor TAPPAN ZEExpress (TZx) bus tickets.  Commuters who depart from Grand Central Terminal to connect to the TZx bus in Tarrytown are urged to stay on the train to Ossining where they can connect to the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry.

Commuters can also take the express train to Beacon where they can connect to the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry.

All Hudson Line tickets to Tarrytown will be honored for travel at all stations on the Hudson Line as far as Poughkeepsie.

NJTransit and Metro-North are cross-honoring Hudson Line tickets on the Pascack Valley Line.

George Washington Bridge 

If you're trying to cross the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge can be accessed by the I-95, I-87 or the Saw Mill River Parkway south. Both I-95 and I-87 merge into the Cross Bronx Expressway, which takes drivers onto the bridge. If you're coming from the Henry Hudson Parkway in the Bronx, take Exit 14 to Riverside Drive and follow it into I-95.

Bear Mountain Bridge

The Bear Mountain Bridge is located on Route 202 and can also be used to cross the river. To head westbound, you can take I-684, the Taconic State Parkway or Route 9 north. On I-684, take Exit 6 to Route 35 westbound, which connects with Route 202. On the Taconic, take the Crompond Road (Route 202) exit. On Route 9, the highway connects with Route 202.

On the west side of the Hudson, Route 6 turns into the Palisades Interstate Parkway and runs south into New Jersey.