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Worker Falls to His Death from High Bridge, NYPD Says

By  Theodore Parisienne and Aidan Gardiner | January 15, 2013 11:24am | Updated on January 15, 2013 2:09pm

HIGH BRIDGE — A 50-year-old worker has died after plunging from The Bronx side of High Bridge onto rail tracks below, cops said.

The unidentified man was discovered unconscious about 10 a.m. on the rails that serve the Metro-North Railroad, according to FDNY and NYPD officials.

He was rushed to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, where he died a short time later, police said.

NYPD detectives Wednesday afternoon recovered a manila folder, a tape measure and metal hooks on the bridge, which is being renovated. Sources, who believe the man was working on the bridge when he fell, do not believe he committed suicide.

His identity has been withheld pending family notification.

The 165-year-old bridge, which connects The Bronx to Washington Heights, is the oldest in the city and has been closed for decades because its so badly deteriorated.

The fall comes days after the city began its $61 million effort to revamp the bridge, which includes erecting an 8-foot fence along its walkway to prevent people from leaping off or chucking refuse.

The renovation is expected to be completed by 2014.

Last year, the taller fence raised the ire of local community groups who called it "ugly and unnecessarily high." Community Board 12, which covers Washington Heights and Inwood, tried to lobby the city to drop the fence from its plan.

It's unclear from where on the bridge the man fell or if a higher railing would have prevented it.

The state's Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation office, which has jurisdiction over the bridge, could not be immediately reached for comment.