Bridge collapses unlikely in NYC, officers say: ‘We have now the suitable protections in place’

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Bridge collapses unlikely in NYC, officers say: ‘We have now the suitable protections in place’


Large Apple officers insisted Tuesday that New York Metropolis is unlikely to expertise a bridge catastrophe like the Baltimore collapse, saying its 14 spans are intently monitored — and that huge container ships don’t traverse the Hudson or East Rivers.

“Our personal bridge infrastructure is a few of the most extremely monitored infrastructure within the nation, and in addition the coordination with vessels and our bridge communication is extremely subtle,” Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi mentioned at a press convention.

“We wish New Yorkers to relaxation assured that the suitable precautions are in place to make sure that our infrastructure is protected and stays protected, and the way it interacts with each vans and ships that each hit bridges sometimes. We have now the suitable protections in place.”

Issues in regards to the threat New York Metropolis bridges face had been briefly raised throughout the press convention, hours after the Francis Scott Key Bridge — one in every of Baltimore’s largest and most distinguished bridges — collapsed into the Patapsco River after a container ship known as the Dali misplaced energy and slammed into it early Tuesday morning.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed into the Patapsco River in Baltimore early Monday morning after a collision. JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration mentioned throughout a Monday press convention that town’s bridges are very protected. Stephen Yang

There are 14 bridges throughout the 5 boroughs, plus various spans alongside smaller waterways just like the Harlem River, the Bronx Kill, Jamaica Bay, the reaches between Staten Island and New Jersey, and Newtown Creek separating Queens and Brooklyn.

Big container ships just like the Dali don’t journey alongside the Hudson or East rivers, the Division of Transportation defined to The Put up — which means landmarks just like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge are protected from such hurt.

Barges pushed by tugboats do frequently cross beneath the bridges over the East and Hudson rivers, however bridges throughout these rivers are designed with “bigger concrete pedestals” to safeguard towards collisions whereas smaller bridges up the Harlem River make the most of fender techniques on their bases.

The pilots who command the tugboats guiding the barges bear a “very rigorous” testing, the DOT mentioned, “serving to guarantee captains perceive the harbor, its depths, and different obstacles to navigate via the waterways.”

The container ship reportedly misplaced energy a number of occasions earlier than drifting uncontrolled into the bottom of the Baltimore bridge. Getty Photos
In July, a crane loaded on a barge collided with the Brooklyn Bridge and fractured an exterior I-beam. James Messerschmidt for NY Put up

Collisions on the East River, nonetheless, have occurred prior to now — together with in July when a barge-carried crane crashed into the Brooklyn Bridge, leaving an I-beam on the outer body cracked by no crucial structural injury.

In 2014, the higher reaches of a container ship clipped the Brooklyn Bridge at excessive tide, however no severe injury occurred.

The Verrazzano Bridge, which reaches from Staten Island to Brooklyn throughout the doorway to New York Harbor and sees heavy site visitors from massive ships, is constructed with what the MTA known as a “rip rap system” consisting of huge rock islands surrounding the tower bases. The protection is meant to run wayward ships aground on the rocks earlier than they might do any injury to the bridge’s bases.

The Verrazzano Bridge’s tower bases are buttressed with massive rock partitions meant to run wayward ships aground. Getty Photos
The Bayonne Bridge, which stretches from New Jersey to Staten Island, was raised to accommodate bigger ships. Chad Rachman/New York Put up

Container ships the scale of the vessel on the heart of the Baltimore catastrophe would all the time be guided beneath bridges by not less than 4 tugboats when passing beneath the Verrazzano, the Port Authority of NY and NJ instructed The Put up, whereas two native pilots with information of the waterways — a staff referred to as the Sandy Hook Pilots — be part of the crew onboard the container ships to help with navigation.

A few of the main freight yards within the space the place massive ships typically name are Port Newark and Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal in New Jersey, and Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island. To entry these ports, container ships typically cross beneath the Verrazzano, after which the Bayonne Bridge, which stretches from New Jersey to Staten Island.

Work to lift Bayonne’s clearance so bigger container ships might cross safely beneath was accomplished in 2019, the Port Authority mentioned, whereas its tower helps are positioned effectively outdoors the navigational channel and are buttressed by a fender system in case of absolute emergency.

“Port Authority bridges bear a complete, holistic inspection each two years,” a rep mentioned, including {that a} system of Coast Guard-mandated navigational lights assist information ships safely beneath.


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