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State Withholding Tappan Zee Payments To Contractor After Latest Barge Breaks Free

Tappan Zee Bridge pile driving, near Tarrytown (file/credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Tappan Zee Bridge pile driving, near Tarrytown (file/credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

PIERMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The state is withholding $1 million a month from a contractor working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge project after a barge broke loose from the construction site Sunday — the third such incident since September.

Brian Conybeare, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s special adviser on the Tappan Zee project, told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond the New York State Thruway Authority will restore the project-progress payments after Tappan Zee Constructors has submitted a corrective-action plan to prevent further incidents and state officials have approved the measures.

“It is unacceptable to have construction barges breaking loose on and near the construction site,” Conybeare said.

Tappan Zee Constructors said in a statement Sunday that one of its barges came loose from its mooring and was recovered an hour later about 2 miles away.

The company told the Journal News that it checks mooring tie-offs at least four times during each shift. It said the loose barge was inspected about 45 minutes earlier.

One of the corrective measures being implemented in installing GPS tracking devices that will immediately alert project officials about wayward barges, Diamond reported.

A barge drifted nearly a mile from its mooring in September. Then, during a January snowstorm, two barges broke free. One drifted all the way to the Bronx, about 13 miles away.

The Coast Guard cleared the contractor in the earlier incidents, blaming the weather and strong currents.

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