NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey man got quite the shock on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, as a bolt and bracket slammed into his Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday as he headed to an indoor soccer game in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Now, Bergenfield resident Andrew Campbell wants everyone to know our bridges may not be as safe as we think they are.
“It was definitely very scary,” Campbell told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin. “It almost sounded like a gunshot. There was a tremendous explosion where something fell.”
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
Like a bolt from the blue, the bolt and bracket slammed the windshield of Campbell’s car and his view at 35 mph instantly went from clear to cracked.
“Luckily I was inside a car, the car did it’s job and protected me,” he said.
What should have stayed attached to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge could have killed him as he was driving on the lower level and was almost all the way across from Manhattan to Queens.
Campbell said he couldn’t believe it as a big rusty bolt dealt his Mercedes a triple blow, striking the windshield once, and then twice.
The bolt stayed on the roof as he pulled over and he kept it as a piece of evidence.
“If it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t know what it was because it could have been anything hitting the car,” Campbell said. “Once I learned what it was, I was more concerned that hopefully that wouldn’t happen to anyone else.”
Campbell directed Carlin to the spot on the bridge where city inspectors could be seen pointing straight up on Wednesday afternoon.
A closer look at the bridge showed 40 brackets and bolts in one small section as well as a space where one was missing. And it appears that bolt may have fallen from the part of the bridge that supports the subway, reports CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Campbell said a state transit worker inspected the bolt.
“I heard him get on the phone and tell somebody that yes, it’s one of ours,” Campbell said.
It was a giant hunk of metal that could have critically hurt or killed a cyclist.
“You don’t expect to have things falling from the sky,” Queens Councilman Peter Vallone said.
Vallone said the renaming of the bridge is partly to blame.
“All of that money should have been spent — and all that time that those workers spent changing the signs — inspecting our bridges to make sure this didn’t happen and unfortunately it wasn’t,” Vallone said.
The Department of Transportation told CBS 2: “It’s unclear where the debris came from…whether from the span itself or from an adjacent transit structure.”
The city has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to rehab the bridge, which has long suffered visible corrosion.
Now this latest incident has regular users of the bridge astounded. They are calling it a life-and-death situation that must be taken seriously with immediate action.
“That is really scary, truly scary,” Brooklyn resident Steven Rodriguez said.
“I think they are responsible for the upkeep of this bridge. They should do a little more,” added Queens resident Pat Seino.
“You realize we’re not as safe as we tend to believe,” Campbell said. “I think I’m very lucky to be honest.”
The Department of Transportation said an investigation is underway and that anything needing to be fixed, will be.
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