Heading away from New Jersey this weekend? You'll want to avoid traveling through upstate New York on Saturday morning.

The project to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge with a new crossing reaches another milestone with the demolition of the 61-year-old span. The controlled explosion is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

The new Mario Cuomo Bridge will be closed for 45 minutes in both directions as will the New York Thruway between Exit 11 in Nyack and Exit 9 in Tarrytown.

New Jersey 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow expects scattered clouds with dry conditions with a temperature around 23.

Engineers decided that a controlled demolition would be the best way to dismantle the bridge after discovering its east anchor span was damaged but stable with key components highly stressed.

According to the Thruway Authority, charges will be used to deliberately bring down all vertical posts supporting the span, allowing the demolition team to safely lower the span eastward into the water and away from the main navigation channel. Marine salvage experts will spend several weeks removing the material from the river.

The blast will create a brief loud noise near the Thruway Authority.

The U.S. Coast Guard will establish a 2,500-foot safety radius in the Hudson River around the operation.