Throgs Neck Bridge fire cause revealed

July 14, 2009 7:05:11 AM PDT
Investigators say Friday's three-alarm fire on the Throgs Neck Bridge was started by a construction worker's blowtorch. The fire started around 5 a.m. that morning, but the nightmare lasted for hours.

The southbound lanes into Queens reopened early in the afternoon, but the other side of the Throgs Neck Bridge remained closed for hours longer.

  • SLIDES: 3rd-Alarm Fire on Throgs Neck Bridge

    Two lanes into the Bronx did not reopen until after 6 p.m. In addition, the Bronx-bound Cross Island Parkway ramp was closed for safety reasons to avoid a hazardous merge around the closed lane.

    The investigation is still underway.

    It appears Friday morning's fire broke out in scaffolding and construction materials under the roadway on the Queens side.

    Crews were working on the installation of a new steel-reinforced concrete deck.

    The bridge remains closed to Bronx-bound trucks.

    Trouble began when scaffolding used for a construction project on the Throgs Neck caught fire, stopping traffic in both directions and preventing Queens or Bronx bound travelers from doing anything.

    The bridge connects the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx with the Bayside section of Queens. It was opened in 1961 and was built to relieve traffic on the adjacent Whitestone Bridge.


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