Mechanical Problem with Crane on Tappan Zee Bridge Leads to Morning Traffic Mess

Contractors could not open traffic lanes by 6 a.m. as scheduled.

A mechanical problem with a heavy-duty crane used for the bridge deck replacement project on the Tappan Zee Bridge led to a massive traffic jam that created morning commuter headaches in Rockand and Westchester. The New York State Thruway Authority said the mechanical issues created about a 30-minute delay in moving the crane off the bridge, which was necessary to re-open bridge lanes that were shut for the overnight construction. Workers are scheduled to be clear of the bridge by 6 a.m. so they do not interfere with the morning commute. Workers said hydraulics on the crane failed, keeping the crane's outriggers — used to stabilize the crane — in the down position. Traffic on the New York State Thruway was backed up on both sides of the Hudson River as a result of the incident, with southbound traffic jammed all the way to Airmont Road in Ramapo. The incident also created lingering delays that affected the area for hours.


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