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Contractor Fined By Thruway Authority For Triggering Massive Tappan Zee Bridge Backup

Tappan Zee Bridge approach - Oct. 30, 2012 (credit: New York State Thruway Authority)

Tappan Zee Bridge approach – Oct. 30, 2012 (credit: New York State Thruway Authority)

SUFFERN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The company replacing the road deck on the Tappan Zee Bridge has been hit with a stiff fine for causing a massive backup during the Tuesday morning commute.

Tutor Perini Corp. was fined $235,000 by the New York State Thruway Authority for failing to reopen all seven lanes by 6 a.m. The entire span wasn’t reopened until 7:30 a.m., causing a 15-mile backup that stretched past Suffern on the Rockland County side.

The contract with the Thruway dictates that two Westchester-bound lanes must be open by 5 a.m. and four lanes open by 6 a.m.

All three Rockland-bound lanes must be open by 7 a.m., Thruway officials said.

A Tutor Perini spokesman said “changed conditions in the field” led to the lane closure issue and said the company plans to appeal the fine.

Were you stuck in the gridlock? Do you think the fine is fair? Sound off in the comments section below…