Contractor Fined $235,000 for TZ Bridge Traffic Mess

Construction company sees penalty for not opening lanes in time for rush hours, causing delays.

An independent construction company carrying out Tappan Zee Bridge deck replacement was slapped with a $235,000 fine from New York State after Tuesday morning work delays, and consequent traffic.

The deck replacement effort—which swaps in needed upgrades on the deteriorating span—requires lane closures during late-night and early-morning weekday hours.

The construction company, Tutor Perini Corp., is supposed to have all lanes re-opened by 6 a.m. for the rush hour traffic.

But a handful of southbound and northbound lanes did not open Tuesday morning until 7 a.m. or later, causing massive congestion.

Tutor Peini Corp. was fined $1,000 per lane per minute for the delays, officials told Patch.

In addition to a legion of miffed commuters, local politicians spoke out, calling for heightened fines.

"It is an outrage that construction contractors on the Tappan Zee Bridge continue to break morning work deadlines that cause massive travel delays," said Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) Monday. "Their failure to ensure that lanes were reopened on time has placed an undue burden on thousands of residents who cross the span every day."

"When commuters are stuck in traffic, it hurts our economy, impacts our quality of life and damages our environment," he added.

Carlucci also called for a $10,000 per-minute fine in lieu of the existing $1,000 per-minute fine.

Tutor Peini Corp. was awarded the $148.8 million Tappan Zee Bridge deck replacement contract in August of 2006.

Construction on a new Tappan Zee Bridge is slated to begin in the next several months, and cost taxpayers about $16 billion.

GBS December 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM
All contracts should be honored and firmly enforced. If a party is inclined to reopen a contract - it's always their perogative, however a willingness on behalf of the other party is necessary. If not, legal suits emerge and little real time benefits occur. I believe the consequences of failure to comply with the contract will felt by contractor. Hence, my opinion on their likely fine advoidance strategy to possibly curtail restoration work hours before the 6am clear time. "One should never undertake an activity you can't complete by 4am". Depending on which New Tappan Zee Bridge plan you review, the current bridge is the option for the next 5+ years. Letting it fall into the Hudson in the intrim might not be prudent. From my readings, unless there are 20 mile out plans for volume on either side, I don't personally understand the plan. While the plan is on the Federal & State agenda I believe inclusion of more comprehensive strategy might be considered. Reading of light rail successes across the country are eye opening. It should be included. Day one. Hence, under the current plan I believe the new bridge will be obselete - again: day one. While I understand the concept of "you have to start somewhere", picemealing public works projects is difficult. Most never reach fruition. We need a new bridge, let's all get together to be sure it's one that endures like that little thing spanning Brooklyn-Manhattan...
Kevin Zawacki December 05, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Joan, how long were you stuck in traffic?
Kevin Zawacki December 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Sen. David Carlucci wants $10,000 per minute -- too much, or just right?
Dana December 05, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Taxpayers are ultimately paying this fine. Taxes fund these projects, so when construction projects take more time to be completed we'll be the ones paying for that.
Jimmy December 06, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Late for work is better than dead. Next time open up the bridge on time, the hell with safety. People will never learn.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »