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North Rockland Daily Voice serves Garnerville, Grassy Point, Stony Point, Thiells, Tomkins Cove, Village of Haverstraw & West Haverstraw in Haverstraw Town

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Investigation Of TZB Crane Collapse Expected To Take Some Time

A shot of the crane that collapsed earlier this week during the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
A shot of the crane that collapsed earlier this week during the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Photo Credit: Kempter's Fire Wire

Days after a crane boom fell across the Tappan Zee Bridge, effectively closing it for hours and causing motorists to scramble for alternate routes, Rockland officials said they expect the investigation of the collapse to take some time to be completed.

A crane operating a vibratory hammer that was driving pile into the Hudson River, part of the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction, collapsed on Tuesday and it’s boom fell across the old bridge. As a result a state investigation has been launched to find out what caused the accident.

“There has been no pattern of cranes collapsing since that bridge construction began,” County Executive Ed Day said. Barge issues aside, any incidents with the bridge construction have been different in nature, he added.

When patterns are present there is a reason to be concerned but this appears to be an isolated incident. Day did find it interesting that the incident occurred with no significant winds and with a brand new piece of equipment.

Day hasn’t been updated on the investigation into the crane collapse but expects it will take time and that investigators will get to the bottom of the issue.

Stony Point resident Tony Piscopiello was at work in Hastings-On-Hudson when he was alerted of the crane collapse on his phone. For 24 years he has driven over the Tappan Zee Bridge each day to get to work.

“When I heard it I said, ‘wait, wait, wait,’ ” Piscopiello recounted.

He immediately flipped on a live stream of the coverage, and having worked in construction for a good portion of his life, knew how long it would take for the bridge to be cleared.

He looked at his boss, who asked him if he wanted to leave, and Piscopiello didn’t hesitate before hopping in his car and heading north toward the Bear Mountain Bridge. The chaos on the roads and stationing of state troopers nearby reminded Piscopiello of what it was like on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I’m more afraid of going by the bridge because of all the things happening around the world,” in relation to recent terrorist attacks abroad, he said.

As far fear of crossing the bridge or a future crane collapse, Piscopiello said he is unbothered, that accidents happen on construction sites, especially one as big as the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

“Our police department did a great job. Thank goodness no one got hurt,” Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart said. He added that he harbored no concerns about the safety of the old bridge or safety associated with the construction of the new bridge.

Stewart was also curious where or how people could get a boat ride across the Hudson River in the event the bridge shuts down in the future.

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