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High Winds Could Stop Boat Traffic Under Damaged Brooklyn Bridge

By Patrick Hedlund | March 15, 2012 12:42pm | Updated on March 15, 2012 1:00pm
Damaged sheet metal shown beneath the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Damaged sheet metal shown beneath the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

MANHATTAN — The crane crash that ripped a gaping gash into scaffolding beneath the Brooklyn Bridge Tuesday night left damaged material dangling and in danger of falling in high winds, authorities said.

Jagged sheet metal and loose cables — torn apart when a crane being pulled by a tugboat sliced through the scaffolding installed for the landmark bridge’s ongoing renovation — could force the Coast Guard to restrict all travel under the bridge if winds reach 27 mph, a spokesman for the authority said.

Vessels taller than 90 feet are currently prohibited from passing beneath the bridge’s damaged portion as crews work to repair the mangled scaffolding, the spokesman added.

The Coast Guard continues to investigate the cause of the crash as the tugboat, crane and barge carrying the crane remain at Port Newark following the wreck.

Meanwhile, the contractor that installed the scaffolding is currently working to repair the damaged portion, but no timetable has been set for when it will be secured, a Department of Transportation spokesman said, adding the bridge itself is secure.

The Coast Guard has already interviewed the tugboat’s captain and crew, who are routinely tested for drugs and alcohol after collisions.

It was not immediately clear how the crane managed to reach high enough to crash into the bridge, guard officials noted, citing the ongoing investigation.