TARRYTOWN, N.Y. - All northbound and two of the three southbound lanes of the Tappan Zee Bridge have reopened following a crane collapse on the old span Tuesday.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said some sort of malfunction caused the vibratory hammer crane to collapse around 12 p.m. The crane fell across both sides of the old span. Cuomo adds that the crane, which was used to drive pilings into the riverbed, was brand-new and among two dozen other cranes in use Tuesday.
The accident caused a traffic nightmare, with motorists being rerouted on both sides of the Hudson River.
Two bridge workers were taken to the hospital, in addition to three motorists who were forced to swerve to avoid the falling crane. Those three motorists suffered from minor back or neck pains, according to Central Nyack Fire Department Assistant Chief Robert Moger. He adds the two workers were struck by the crane and were hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening.
At a surface-level glance, Cuomo said it appeared that only one lane of the old span was damaged, but a team of engineers was sent to determine whether its entirety is structurally sound. Teams are now working on plans to repair the damage.
Following the governor's first news conference, he and his team went on a tour of the bridge. Cuomo encouraged residents to find alternative routes and modes of transportation to get home. Alternate spans include the Bear Mountain, Kingston or George Washington bridges.
By 4 p.m., the lingering traffic on the bridge, mostly tractor-trailers that could not easily turn around, was cleared.
Cuomo spoke again around 5 p.m., when he said the northbound lanes were reopening. Shortly after his address, vehicles could be seen again crossing the bridge. Two of the three southbound lanes have also reopened. The only lane still closed is the one damaged by the crane that Cuomo said sustained structural damage.