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Contractor Fined $235K 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.

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