TZ Bridge reopens following crane collapse


Mangled wreckage of crane boom

NYACK – Northbound traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge began to flow
at around 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday with southbound traffic expected to resume
two hours later.

One of the southbound lanes sustained damage on the surface and below,
said Governor Andrew Cuomo, following inspections of the structure.

He said that by morning commuter’ time, he expected the bridge to
be running smoothly.

What caused the crane on the new bridge that is under construction to
collapse and fall onto the adjacent old bridge is unknown. The crane holds
up a vibrating hammer that weighs 121,000 pounds, said Tappan Zee Contractors’
President Terry Toule.

“Obviously it is one of three issues. It is a problem the crane;
it’s a problem with the hammer; or its operator error. That’s
what the investigation will look at,” he said.

The hammer forces piles into the mud.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was onsite after the incident and said he was amazed
that five hours after the crash, the bridge was returning back to normal.

“This could have been a real tragedy and we could have had a real
loss of life, so we say a special prayer and a special thanks, and to
the first responders, this was a highly unusual situation. The crane was
collapsed across the entire bridge. It was a lot of machinery to move
and this is literally within hours, the damage has been removed, the bridge
has been reopened; the bridge has been inspected,” Cuomo said.
There were two fender benders when cars stopped right after the crane
came down.

Only three workers sustained minor injuries.

Construction on the new bridge will continue as planned, said Toule.

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