Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew work to protect bridge during span's final years

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., secures ropes as he keeps an eye out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

The Tappan Zee Bridge painting-crew members, who are New York State Thruway Authority employees, work to protect the bridge between spring and fall, scouring rust from the structure and covering the span with an epoxy primer, red oxide paint and silicone alkyd finish coat to maintain structural integrity. Some of the decades-old paint on the bridge contains lead, which poses a challenge to the painters, who have to contain the particles while dealing with rust and paint erosion. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., secures ropes as he keeps an eye out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., looks out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Wayne
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Wayne Simpson, of Sloatsburg, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority employees with the
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority employees with the Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew work on the bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Clifton
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Clifton Thomas, of Mount Vernon, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter John
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter John Varughese, of Pomona, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., looks out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., looks out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Wayne
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter Wayne Simpson, of Sloatsburg, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter John
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter John Varughese, of Pomona, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painting acting
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painting acting supervisor Daniel Speckman, of Hopewell Junction, works on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painter and groundman Keo Sary, a 21-year Thruway employee of Woodbridge, N.J., looks out for the safety of his fellow Tappan Zee Bridge painting crew members. (May 1, 2013)

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painters work
Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

New York State Thruway Authority bridge painters work on the Tappan Zee Bridge. The crew, whose numbers have dwindled in recent years, paint the bridge with a primer, paint and epoxy and help repair rust on the bridge to maintain structural integrity. (May 1, 2013)

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