NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In the wake of a recent security breach at the RFK Triborough Bridge, several elected officials are calling for stiffer penalties for trespassing on critical infrastructure.
Three men claimed to have scaled part of the Triborough bridge last week even gaining access to the room housing the bridge’s mechanical system.
“Whether the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge or the Lincoln Tunnel, trespassing on our City’s vital infrastructure is too high a risk to be tolerated,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Trying to see New York City’s beautiful views shouldn’t come while risking the safety of other New Yorkers and visitors. The New York State Legislature must pass the Critical Infrastructure Safety Act to discourage this chronic trespassing on the infrastructure that keeps our City’s economy moving.”
CBS2’s Alice Gainer spoke to one of the climber in last week’s incident, who did not want to be identified. The man described the climb, which happened late at night.
“There’s a walkway up there and from there we climbed from girder to girder up to the, I wouldn’t call it a control room, it’s more like a gear wearhouse,” he said.
The climbers said the gear room was locked, but a device to open the door was nearby and they had no trouble getting in.
Photos of the event were posted on the website Animal New York.
Last year, in two separate incidents, people climbed the Brooklyn Bridge. During one of the climbs, the American flag was replaced with a white-washed version.
“Each new stunt drains focus and resources from the essential job of protecting New Yorkers and their critical infrastructure,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “I’m grateful that Bronx, Manhattan and Queens elected officials who represent the RFK Bridge now support our proposal following yet another incident. This bill, along with Senator Schumer’s effort at the federal level, sends the clear message that in today’s world, these enduring breaches are not harmless acts.”
The proposed legislation would complement locally a measure introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer making it a federal crime to trespass on critical infrastructure with the intent to commit a crime.