Third Avenue Bridge over Harlem River gets stuck after steel expands in oppressive heat

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The Third Avenue Bridge over the Harlem River was stuck in an open position for an hour and a half on Monday due to the oppressive heat.

Motorists were unable to cross the Third Avenue Bridge, which connects Manhattan and the Bronx over the Harlem River, for about 90 minutes Monday afternoon when the bridge got stuck in an open position as its steel expanded in the oppressive heat.

The road crossing, which connects Harlem to the South Bronx, is a “swing” bridge that can rotate horizontally to allow large ships to pass through. But on July 8, at about 5 p.m., the bridge apparently got stuck in an open position, which Transportation Department (DOT) spokesperson Vin Barone attributed to the expansion of its steel frame in Monday’s heat, which saw high temperatures of 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

DOT and Fire Department personnel were on scene to cool down the bridge by hosing it down with massive amounts of water, ultimately allowing the bridge to return to the default position and reopen to traffic at 6:30 p.m., Barone said.

New York City remains under a heat advisory until Wednesday evening. Temperatures are not expected to rise as high Tuesday and Wednesday as they did on Monday, but high humidity is making the outdoors feel particularly harsh. Cooling centers remain open until Wednesday.