"You've got some very good people." It is unclear when the unrusted crack formed, but the Turnpike Commission and engineering experts agree it shows signs of being very recent.
The fracture in the truss caused the bridge to shift, so it will be jacked back up and eight platforms will be placed under it for support.
A temporary splice to hold the truss will also be completed, De Febo said.
Turnpike officials were anticipating a difficult commute Monday as drivers use alternate routes to bypass the bridge.
The traffic snarls are likely to be bad enough that De Febo urged commuters to try car pooling or asking employers for flex time to work from home.
The problem is they welded it up." The plug welds created a weak point, Frank said, and the stress of traffic crossing the bridge continuously since it opened in 1956 could have led to a sudden crack, splitting the beam at the welds.
A spokesman for the commission, which operates the 1.2-mile-long bridge jointly with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, did not dispute Frank's conclusion, but said turnpike engineers had too little information to confirm anything about the crack's cause.
Frank, the engineering professor, said a picture of the crack clearly shows evidence of welds that line up exactly with rows of rivets in the beam.
Engineers will likely recommend checking other beams on the bridge for similar plug welds. The beam will likely not be replaced, he said, and a possible fix would be a bolted splice at the crack.
Today, I am 40, single and childless — but still hoping to become a mother.
I confess that on many first meetings, and indeed first dates, my vision was somewhat impaired by a courage-boosting vodka and tonic.
"Don't want to make premature assumptions without science," said Carl De Febo Jr., the spokesman.