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Archive for the tag 'verrazano narrows bridge'

Suspect Tyree Brown (Source: DCPI)

Suspect Tyree Brown (Source: DCPI)

Crime Stoppers and the New York City Police Department are now offering a $12,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tyrell Brown.

Brown, 25, is the suspect in a carjacking and believed to be the person MTA Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police fired at on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge yesterday morning.

According to cops, Brown flashed a gun at a 29-year-old man in Staten Island, and swiped his black Hummer on Sunday.

Early Monday morning, Bridges & Tunnels officers had an eye out for the vehicle, and spotted it crossing the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn into Staten Island. They stopped the vehicle, spurring the female passenger to try and flee on foot, and Brown attempted to make off with the Hummer. The officers opened fire while Brown slammed into nearby cars before ultimately shaking the cops. He abandoned the car in Staten Island and remains on the lam.

Tyree Brown is described as a 25-year-old black male, 5’08″ in height, 150 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and has “Dorothea” tattooed on his neck. He was last seen wearing a red hooded jacket and tan pants.

The $12,000 reward includes $2,000 payable by Crime Stoppers upon arrest and indictment, and $10,000 payable by the NYPD upon arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Suspect Tyree Brown (Source: DCPI)

Suspect Tyree Brown (Source: DCPI)

Police are hunting for Tyree Brown, 25, the suspect in a carjacking believed to be the person MTA Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police fired at on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge this morning.

According to police, Brown flashed a gun at a 29-year-old man on Holland Avenue in Staten Island yesterday afternoon. He ordered the man to the ground, swiped his keys and fled in the victim’s 2006 black Hummer.

Authorities put out an alert, and Verrazano Bridge officers were on guard for the vehicle. It turned up at Staten Island-bound toll booths at approximately 1:15 a.m. Two officers stopped the car before bullets began flying.

“I can confirm that around 1:15 a.m. several shots were fired by two Bridge and Tunnel Officers at a car believed to have been hijacked (somewhere else in the city) at gunpoint,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels spokesperson Judie Glave. “NYPD asked MTA Bridges and Tunnels officers at the Verrazano-Narrows to be on the lookout for the car.”

The NYPD and MTA Bridges and Tunnels declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.

SILive reports that the cops heard what they believed might be a gunshot coming from within the car:

One law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said that when the officers approached, they heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot, and someone inside threw a woman out of the Hummer. That sound is what spurred the officers to open fire, the source said.

The female passenger tried to flee and was arrested at the toll plaza, the MTA spokeswoman said. The male driver took off north on a nearby service road, ditching the vehicle on Targee Street before running off.

Tyree Brown is described as a 25-year-old black male, 5’08” in height, 150 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and has “Dorothea” tattooed on his neck. He was last seen wearing a red hooded jacket and tan pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website, or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The falcon as it awaits a checkup with the vet. (Source: MTA)

The falcon as it awaits a checkup with the vet. (Source: MTA)

Savior of falcons. (Source: MTA)

Two MTA Bridges and Tunnels workers rescued a one-month-old peregrine falcon from danger after it landed on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge’s roadway and couldn’t take flight.

Here’s the story, via MTA press release:

MTA Bridges and Tunnels Maintainers Ed Sheehan and Asif Subhan were in a sweeper truck doing routine cleaning near the Brooklyn tower in the early morning hours of June 17 when they spotted something on the small strip of curbing adjacent to the center median, which divides east and west bound traffic.

“I think I just saw a cat,” Subhan told his colleague. The two circled around in the truck to get a closer look and were surprised to see the female falcon standing still, staring at them. They immediately radioed back to the facility to let them know what they found. Maintainer Angel Acevedo and Bridge and Tunnel Officer Michael Chorynoy, who was on patrol, quickly joined them.

The bird didn’t have any visible injuries but was unable or unwilling to fly. The fast-acting foursome cornered the scared, young falcon. Acevedo deftly scooped the falcon up while Sheehan made a make-shift crate in order to safely transport her back to the Verrazano-Narrows administration building.

“It’s not unusual for young falcons just getting their wings under them to run into this kind of trouble,” said city DEP wildlife expert Chris Nadareski, who oversees the peregrine falcon program in New York City and bands the MTA chicks each spring. “It will take a couple of more weeks before they get full control.”

After being checked out by a vet, the falcon was returned to its 695-foot-high next on top of the bridge’s Brooklyn tower.

“She went straight into the nesting box and began squawking for her parents to feed her,” said Nadareski

The chick was one of four hatched in May on top of the bridge, and one of 11 born on three MTA bridges citywide this year.

The following is a message from the MTA:

There will be full and partial closures of the upper level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for the removal and installation of new steel sign gantries during overnight hours from June 23 through June 28.

The upper level of the bridge will be fully closed three nights during overnight hours. Motorists will be able to use the lower level of the bridge while this work is done. Vehicles carrying hazardous materials will not be permitted to cross during full, upper level closures and must use alternate routes.

All work is dependent on good weather. The planned schedule is as follows:

Eastbound Upper Level to Brooklyn

Nightly 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Mon.-Fri. all three lanes closed.
Saturday from 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. one lane closed.

Westbound Upper Level to Staten Island

Tuesday 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. one lane closed.
Nightly 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Tues-Fri. all three lanes closed.
Saturday from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. all three lanes closed.

Source: fawlty128 via

A plan is in the works for a new upper deck on the Verrazano Bridge, which aims to make the nation’s longest suspension bridge to be “pothole-proof.”

The deck, slated for construction this fall, will be made of a “lighter steel orthotropic material “topped with a two-inched layer of modified asphalt knows as Rosphalt to replace the original concrete.

Staten Island Advance reports that the new material will be relatively waterproof and less prone to corrosion than its concrete predecessor.

“Classic, bone-jarring deep potholes – requiring extensive repair which may develop over time on concrete roadways or asphalt on grade pavements – cannot develop on an orthotropic deck,” Senior Project Engineer Carl Redmond explained to the Advance.
Rospholt, made by Chase Corporation, was used on bridge decks in Milwaukee in the past and reportedly saved the state thousands of hours and dollars in repair time and costs.

From Chase Corporation’s website: “Rospholt is a unique, concentrated thermoplastic additive which creates a waterproofing and wearing surface which is resistant to both rutting and shoving. It uses standard paving equipment with a single step operation making the installation quick and easy.”

Despite all this, Staten Island’s MTA representative Alan Cappelli is unconvinced: “We are living in the worst pothole place in the U.S.,” said Cappelli. “If it works, I will be overjoyed. I do hope the new surface lives up to its advertisement, but I remain heartily skeptical. I have lived through a lifetime of having my automobile smacked around. To break down on the bridge is a scary place to be.”

A pothole-free Verazzano is a safer Verazzano. Here’s to hoping for the best.

– Sam Shokin

Source: fawlty128 via

The following is a press release from the MTA:

The Staten Island-bound lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will be closed from 12:01 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday, May 4 for the annual TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. The upper level of the bridge will remain open in both directions throughout the event.

Motorists should expect delays and allow extra travel time. To hear information about all the Verrazano-Narrow Bridge bike tour closures, call (212) 360-3000.

Other closings at the Verrazano-Narrows will include:

  • Brooklyn-bound lower level of the bridge from 12:01 a.m. until 8 a.m. After 8 a.m. two of three lanes will be open.
  • The Bay Street exit from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • BQE approach (I-278 West) to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The 92nd Street entrance ramp to the westbound lower level of the bridge from approximately 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition, traffic exiting the Hugh L. Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel in Brooklyn will be diverted to Hamilton Avenue between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and the ramp to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge from the FDR Drive will be closed between 8 a.m. and Noon. All Manhattan-bound traffic must exit at 125th Street.

Source: USPS

Source: USPS

The United States Postal Service issued a brand new stamp depicting the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on March 4, commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s largest suspension bridges.

From the postal service’s description:

[T]he stamp captures the grandeur of the Verrazano, not only showing its sheer size and scale, but also giving a sense of the sweeping curve of the double-decker roadway. The artist chose to showcase the bridge at twilight, which offers an interesting play of light and shadow.

Not to mention that sunrises and sunsets are the best times to view the iconic bridge, so it’s no surprise that illustrator Dan Cosgrove chose to capture it then.

1964 Verrazano stamp

1964 Verrazano stamp

The 4,260-foot-long, 690-foot-tall bridge opened on November 21, 1964, the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time (it remains the longest in the Americas today). It’s named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer credited with discovering New York Bay in 1524. He was leading what was believed to be the first exploration by Europeans of the North American northeast coastline since the Norse expeditions more than 500 years earlier.

It’s not the first time the bridge has graced postage. On the occasion of the bridge’s opening, the USPS issued a 5-cent stamp. And in 2006, a stamp featuring the bridge was issued as part of the “Wonders of America” series.

The stamp itself is neither a forever stamp or a standard 49-cent stamp, but comes in at a whopping $5.60. It’s fitting, given that it depicts the bridge with the highest toll in the nation. We wonder if Staten Islanders will get a discount.

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Ibagli via Wikimedia Commons

The campaign to pressure the Metropolitan Transit Authority to expand the multi-trip discount toll discount plan on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge to Brooklynites has kicked up a notch, with Senator Marty Golden and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis launching a petition and website to that end.

The petition is hosted at, It reads:

In 2012, in response to public outcry, the Port Authority created a bridge discount program, providing Brooklyn residents traveling over the Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing, and the Bayonne Bridge three times or more a month with a 58% discount.

Senator Golden has proposed that the MTA provide the same plan for Brooklynites who frequently use the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Assemblywoman Malliotakis has joined him to create this petition to help residents facing skyrocketing tolls when crossings the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Under the plan, residents traveling over the Verrazano Bridge would receive a 58% discount from the $15 cash price to be applied to EZ-Pass holders who travel over the bridge 3 or more times a month. This means that an EZ-Pass holder would see their toll price reduced from roughly $10.50 to $6.30.

Residents can sign the petition by visiting the website, or one of the elected officials’ district offices.

In February, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a deal giving Staten Island EZ-Pass holders a toll break on the Verrazano Bridge. The plan grants Island commuters the discount laid out in the Golden-Malliotakis petition, but denies it to residents of other boroughs.

Area pols immediately criticized the deal, calling it unfair that Brooklynites were left out. Golden, Councilmember Vincent Gentile, State Senator Diane Savino and Borough President Eric Adams all spoke out against it. Gentile later introduced a resolution to the City Council calling for the MTA to give Brooklyn residents a matching deal.

Golden and Malliotakis launched their petition Friday.

“The rising cost of the Verrazano Bridge toll has become prohibitive not only for Staten Island residents, but for Brooklyn residents as well,” said Golden in a press release. “Even though people who live in my district are going the opposite way of those who live in Staten Island, the cost is the same, and therefore, the discount should be the same.”

On the news of the petition’s launch, Gentile and Adams released a joint statement praising the effort and calling for unity in the fight for toll equity:

We thank State Senator Golden and Assembly Member Malliotakis for joining our community’s fight to address disparity in the new tolling plan for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. We cannot stand for the unfair penalizing of Brooklynites that work, go to school or have family members on Staten Island, Brooklynites that use this bridge every day. In this spirit, we are jointly introducing a City Council resolution calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority to consider the impact of the current pricing scheme on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on both the residents of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Both boroughs, as well as the elected officials who represent them, need to stand in unity on this issue. That is why we will be proud to be among the first to sign the new petition calling for toll relief for Brooklynites, and that is why we look forward to furthering our efforts to achieve a truly ‘fair fare’ on this thoroughfare.

A box truck erupted into flames on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Tuesday, causing traffic backups and drawing firefighters to the scene.

The truck was on the Brooklyn-bound upper-level of the bridge when it ignited at approximately 7:30 p.m., reports NBC New York.

A driver and passenger escaped the vehicle unharmed.

It took firefighters approximately 30 minutes to squelch the flames, and traffic was backed up as the upper level was shut down to deal with the situation, reports

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, eyeing a possible overheated engine as the cause.


The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Vincent Gentile:

At a press conference this past Saturday, Council Member Vincent J. Gentile and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced that they are introducing a City Council resolution to address disparity in the proposed new tolling plan for the Verrazano Bridge, which was publicized last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The resolution, which Gentile will co-sponsor with Borough President Adams in the New York City Council, calls on Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature to ensure community equity in the setting or adjusting of bridge and tunnel tolls.

Council Member Gentile, who represented parts of Staten Island as a New York State Senator from 1997-2002, commended Governor Cuomo for the sweeping discount plan, which will provide a significant discount from current toll rates for Staten Islanders, while expressing his feeling that it doesn’t go quite far enough.

“I’m all for lowering tolls for hardworking Staten Islanders but the fact is this deal is one sided and does not include Brooklyn,” said Council Member Gentile. “We cannot pit borough against borough. This is one bridge with two sides. To recognize the toll burdens for residents on one side of the bridge, we must recognize the toll burdens for the residents on the other side of the bridge. To do anything less would give a new definition of highway robbery for Brooklynites. That is why, through a City Council resolution, I am calling on the State to ensure community equity in the setting and adjusting of bridge and tunnel tolls. There are many, many Brooklynites who commute to Staten Island on a daily basis and that needs to be addressed.”

“We must have a fair decrease of the fare on the Verrazano Bridge,” said Borough President Adams. “This is an important pocketbook issue. Many people don’t know that Borough Presidents can introduce legislation; I’m happy this is the first piece of legislation that I will be co-introducing with Council Member Gentile. It sends the right message that we must use government to alleviate the burdens that impact everyday Brooklynites. What we’re asking the Governor and our legislators to do is we want to have a fair fare on the Verrazano Bridge; that’s what this resolution is about. We are not going to create a two-tiered system where we’re allowing one side of a waterway to be treated differently than another side.”

Gentile and Adams were joined by elected officials, Community Board 10 leadership and local affected residents, all of whom joined in the unified message of equity in lowering tolls for Brooklyn and Staten Island commuters alike.

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues in Brooklyn on the issue of toll relief,” said State Senator Diane Savino. “We saw what happen in Staten Island when both sides of the aisle work together for a common goal. Together we were able to achieve the first-ever toll reduction for Staten Island residents; it was difficult, but we did it. Those Brooklyn residents that use the Verrazano often should be able to get some relief also.”

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