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Traffic moving on Queensboro Bridge after Friday truck fire

August 18, 2013 2:42:05 PM PDT
Traffic is moving again on the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, but there are lingering problems.

One lane on the Queens-bound upper level of the bridge remains closed.

But Department of Transportation officials say the other Queens-bound lanes have been reopened.

It took about two hours for firefighters to get the fire under control Friday as thick, black smoke billowed from the double-decker span's lower level.

The fire caused huge delays, with some motorists trapped in their cars for hours on the East Side of Manhattan.

The flames were intense enough to damage a support beam.

For several hours Friday, the East Side was virtually paralyzed.

There were gridlocked streets and frozen avenues that stretched for more than 90 blocks from the Midtown Tunnel to the Triboro. It left New Yorkers to contend with some of the worst traffic they'd ever seen.

It began when a truck carrying clothes hangers caught fire at 11 o'clock Friday morning. Although the driver and his two passengers escaped, the cleanup and repairs forced a partial shutdown.

Black plumes of smoke were seen rising over the bridge.

The city DOT continues to inspect the structural integrity of the bridge, specifically looking at a beam that was in the flames.

Electrical cables that stretch under the bridge are also being checked.

The DOT released the following statement.
"Our inspection determined that a floor beam was affected and needs to be repaired. Immediate repair work will occur through the weekend with expected completion by Sunday morning. In the meantime, traffic in both directions will remain open using the span's westbound roadways (upper level will be Manhattan-bound and lower level will be Queens-bound). Once this repair is complete all but one lane of the Queens-bound roadway can re-open. The final lane (on the upper roadway) will re-open once all repair work is done. We will update with any additional details."


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