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Rockland-Bound Tappan Zee Bridge Reopens

PIP police maintained a security zone while the crane was disassembled and removed.
PIP police maintained a security zone while the crane was disassembled and removed. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Palisades Interstate Parkway PD

A crane collapse that closed the Tappan Zee Bridge for several hours wrought havoc with the beginning of Tuesday's evening rush in North Jersey -- with traffic diversions on northbound Route 287 and various other roads into Rockland County.

The Rockland-bound side of the span was reopened before 5:30 p.m., with one lane on the Westchester-bound side expected to follow suit by 7 p.m., authorities said.

A second lane on that side was to open an hour later. The third lane would remain closed until repairs could be made Wednesday morning, they said.

Both sides were closed after a hammer crane used to drive piles for construction of a new bridge toppled across the current span around noon.

Traffic diverted to the George Washington Bridge sent area New York City arteries into gridlock early in the afternoon.

“Miraculously, there were no serious injuries,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said said.

A worker was injured, as were two occupants of cars involved in crashes while avoiding the crane, Cuomo said. None of the injuries was life-threatening, he said.

“We do not know why the crane collapses,” the governor said during an afternoon news conference. “Dozens and dozens of cranes have been operating at the bridge for months.”

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