New York City Bridges Closed Because of Hurricane Sandy

By DNAinfo Staff  on October 29, 2012 11:18am  | Updated on October 29, 2012 8:51pm

NEW YORK CITY — Most bridges around the city were set to close Monday night as the worst of  Hurricane Sandy bore down on the city — the latest in a series of closures due to the monster tempest's high winds and flooding potential.

The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge — formerly the Triborough — was the latest major artery in the city closed on Monday.

The bridged closed at 7:30 p.m. because of 100 mile per hour wind gusts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

LaGuardia Airport was also shut down Monday night around 8 p.m. because of floodwater, the Port Authority announced. There was no immediate timeframe of when flights might start leaving again.

The governor earlier announced that the Whitestone, George Washington, Henry Hudson, Throgs Neck and Verrazano bridges would all close at 7 p.m. The Lincoln Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel and will remain open “for now,” Cuomo added.

The four East River bridges — Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Ed Koch Queensborogh bridges — were also set to close at 7 p.m., the Department of Transportation announced.

The Office of Emergency Managment said the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge was also set to close at 7 p.m.

And the Cross Bay Bridge, which connects the Rockaways to the rest of Queens, was closed about 4:30 p.m. because of high winds, the mayor's office tweeted.

Earlier, the governor announced the Tappan Zee Bridge was closing because of worsening weather conditions, the latest river crossing to close.

“Hurricane Sandy has created conditions that make it hazardous for motorists to use the Tappan Zee, and that is why we are closing the bridge,” Cuomo said. “We are sensitive to the impact this will have on travelers, but safety is our highest priority and, under current conditions, gusts sweeping across the bridge could flip vehicles or cause serious multi-vehicle accidents.”

As of 6 p.m. Monday, the FDR Drive was slated to be closed from the Battery to 155th Street because of flooding, according to the Department of Transportation.

Streets around Sixth Avenue and 57th Street were also closed Monday afternoon when a crane became dislodged and was dangling from the side of a building at 157 W. 57th St., the fired department said.

Earlier in the afternoon Cuomo ordered the closure of the Holland Tunnel and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel because the tubes are prone to flooding.

The Bayonne and Outerbridge Crossing, both connecting Staten Island to New Jersey, were also closed, according to OEM.

"Do not underestimate this storm," Cuomo said. "These forecasts for the surge are really extraordinary.

"They're talking about surges we have never seen before," he added. "This is nothing to be taken lightly."

The Lincoln Tunnel will remain open, however.

The tunnel closures are the latest move by authorities to protect the city from the oncoming hurricane. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority closed the entire transit system Sunday night.

"We've done everything we need to do," Cuomo said. "So far, the storm is as predicted. There's going to be a lot of rain, a lot of wind.

"The question is the extent of the storm surge," he added. "It is already high. It is already at [Hurricane] Irene levels."

Officials continue to monitor bridges and other roads as the hurricane nears. Cuomo said the most bridges will be shut down if winds surpass 60 mph. 

Car traffic was also greatly reduced with only about 2,804 yellow cabs left on the road as of Monday afternoon — 35 to 40 percent of normal capacity — according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The commission was also reminding drivers not to price gauge during the storm.

As Sandy nears, drivers will be required to reduce speeds on the spans to 25 mph as soon as winds reach 30 mph. Once winds hit 50 miles per hour, trailers, motorcycles, mini-buses and vehicles with cargo will not be allowed on certain bridges, officials said.

And stretches of the Major Deegan Expressway were temporarily closed, the Department of Transportation said.

Traffic on the Whitesone Expressway was also moving slowly near the Throgs Neck Bridge becasue of flooding, the Department Of Transportation said.

The DOT has also suspended alternate side of the street parking for Tuesday.

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