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One TZB Lane Expected To Remain Closed For Days Following Crain Collapse

A shot of the southbound side of the Tappan Zee Bridge where a crane boom that fell caused damage. Photo Credit: Palisades Interstate Parkway Police
Heavy traffic on I-87 in Rockland heading southbound Wednesday at around 8 a.m. Photo Credit: NYSDOT
A shot of the crane that collapsed on Tuesday. Photo Credit: Palisades Interstate Parkway Police
A photo of the crane collapse on the Tappan Zee Bridge by the New York State DOT. Photo Credit: NYSDOT
Gov. Cuomo at his press briefing in Tarrytown on Tuesday after the crain collapse.
Gov. Cuomo at his press briefing in Tarrytown on Tuesday after the crain collapse. Video Credit: NYGovCuomo

This story has been updated.

Six of the seven lanes on the Tappan Zee Bridge are open Wednesday following Tuesday's crane collapse.

Westchester-bound traffic was heavy but moving with moderate traffic heading toward Rockland during the morning commute.

All three north-bound lanes (Rockland-bound) reopened at around 5 p.m. Tuesday. The south-bound (Westchester bound lanes) reopened later in the evening.

The outermost right lane on the Westchester-bound side is expected to remained closed for several days because of damage caused when the crane fell.

Around noon, a crane operating a vibratory hammer collapsed, causing the boom of the crane to land across the north- and southbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The incident drew significant attention on social media and from regional media outlets. 

The crane was one of 28 cranes operating and was holding a 120,000-pound vibratory hammer that is used to drive piles into the mud, a routine task, explained Terry Towle, the president of the Tappan Zee Constructors.

When asked what caused the accident, Towle said it could be attributed to one of three problems.

“Obviously it’s one of three issues, right? It’s a problem with the crane, it's a problem with the hammer or its operator error, and that’s what the investigation will look at.

Only three people were injured in the incident as opposed to the five initially reported: one was a bridge worker who was treated for minor injuries, and two other people were involved in minor car accidents avoiding the crane. The boom of the crane did not land on any cars, Cuomo said.

“If there’s a silver lining in this situation it’s that no one was seriously hurt,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “If you said to me that a boom could fall across the Tappan Zee Bridge at noon, not hit a car, not hit a person, and there’d be no serious injury, I wouldn’t believe it.”

An inspection of both the crane and bridge will take place; the bridge inspection is expected to take several hours, Cuomo said.

“Even though the deck may look fine, you don’t know what happened or what could‘ve happened underneath to the supporting structure,” Cuomo said, adding that the bridge is quite old and should’ve been replaced decades ago.

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