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Truck Company Will Pay for Repairs After Grand Central Crash, MTA Says

By Mary Johnson | August 2, 2012 3:02pm

MANHATTAN — Metro-North Railroad will look to the truck company whose 18-wheeler crashed into the overpass above Grand Central this week to cover the cost of repairing the historic structure, a spokeswoman said.

The cost of the damage is not known yet, but Metro-North has been working with the Department of Transportation to finalize plans for making the necessary repairs, the MTA representative said.

As part of those fixes, the railroad has also requested that a wider, more reinforced curb be added to the roadway where Park Avenue passes over Grand Central Terminal to provide increased protection in the future.

The accident, which took place around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, sent pink granite toppling onto the sidewalk in front of the bustling transportation hub and has left a gaping hole in the guardrail.

No one was injured in the incident.

The driver, Joseph Herbert, was ticketed for five separate violations, including using an off-truck route, excessive length of tractor and trailer and having unsecured cargo, police said.

At the time, he was driving for Western Express, a trucking company based out of Nashville, Tenn.

A representative for Western Express said the company was not prepared to make a statement at this time because the accident is still under investigation.

According to information on the MTA’s website, Metro-North workers scooped up every piece of the shattered railing after the accident on Tuesday.

Some of those pieces can be salvaged and used in replacing the missing stone.

For the rest of the repairs, new pieces will have to be carved to match the originals since the guardrail is considered part of Grand Central Terminal, a historic landmark, the spokeswoman said.

The railing is made of Stony Creek granite from Connecticut, and new pieces will have to be carved from matching stone found from that original source, according to the MTA’s website.

In the meantime, a protective barrier has been set up to cover the gap where the stone was crushed by the truck.

The spokeswoman said it is still too soon to determine how long the repairs will take. The historic requirements complicate the process, but she said fixing the guardrail has been deemed an emergency.