NEW YORK, NY – The new Tappan Zee Bridge under construction north of New York City was the site of the collapse of a massive crane across the busy span it is replacing, halting traffic Tuesday afternoon on the key Hudson River crossing.
The Coast Guard said the crane’s operator was rescued from the water after the collapse.
Authorities said three drivers were hurt when they swerved to avoid the crane when it came crashing down. One bridge worker was also injured.
The base and treads of the large, movable crane sat on the unfinished new bridge, which crosses the river between Westchester and Rockland counties. Officials didn’t immediately give the length of the collapsed crane, but part of the broken arm lay across the entire 90-foot, seven-lane width of the old bridge, which runs parallel to the new one. Another section lay across a construction platform in the water between the two spans.
After the crash, several boats carrying emergency workers maneuvered in the river around the collapsed crane arm, while other workers appeared to be scanning the water around the wreck.
Rockland County had a helicopter and marine unit at the scene, according to NY County executive Day. Day tweeted that the crane operator was shaken, but not hurt.
The new Tappan Zee Bridge has been under construction for three years and is expected to be completed by 2018 at a cost of $3.9 billion. It is being built alongside the original Tappan Zee span, which dates to 1955.