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Tappan Zee Bridge Comes Down In Controlled Demolition

IRVINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Just like that, it's gone.

Crews demolished the eastern span of the old Tappan Zee Bridge with a controlled explosion Tuesday.

SEE IT: Tappan Zee Bridge Comes Down In Controlled Demolition 

Within seconds, the 672-foot long structure came down shortly before 11 a.m.

"It's a dawning of a new era for around here," Tim Plunkett, of Tarrytown, told CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis.

Plunkett was among the large crowd the braved the cold to watch history unfold.

"My father walked across the first bridge when it was build. So it's sort of a multi-generational connection for a lot of us," he said.

PHOTOS: Controlled Demolition Of Tappan Zee Bridge

Theresa Acampora, of Long Island, was there celebrating her mother's birthday.

"It's a big boom. Who doesn't want to see a big boom?" she said.

"Today is my 83rd birthday," her mother, Eileen Brienza, added. "We just decided to do it. Gotta figure out something for next year now."

A demolition team was brought in to lower the structure, and engineers placed a special net along the bottom of the river to help remove what's left.

MORE: Remains Of Old Tappan Zee Bridge Used To Make Artificial Reef Off Long Island

The process was postponed from the weekend due to heavy winds, but it didn't stop the show from going on.

Some people said they could feel their homes shake from the blast.

"The bridge is a part of everybody in this area's life. At some point you've been over it, and you'll never forget the traffic," said White Plains resident Shah Love.

"Just the fact that it's happening at all, the fact that they couldn't take it down, it became structurally unsafe and they have to do it this way," East Setauket resident Jade Mood said.

There were some traffic delays as police shut down part of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and New York State Thruway for roughly an hour.

The western span of the old Tappan Zee will be dismantled, without explosives, later this year. For more information, click here.

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