Afternoon Bulletin: New Tappan Zee Halfway There, Meteor Showers, Drones and More

Construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge has reached the halfway point.

Construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge is officially half way there. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The new Tappan Zee Bridge is halfway to completion, though bridge engineers expect it will take years before each section is open for use. Despite a minor setback caused by the toppling of a 256-foot crane mid-July, the first major new NYC bridge in fifty years has made extensive progress; it has laid more than a mile of concrete over the Hudson River and has finished 35 of 43 pairs of support piers. Project engineer Jamey Barbas expects the first section of the bridge to open eight traffic lanes by the end of next year, with the second section opening eight additional ones in 2018. Once the bridge opens, the destruction of the current Tappan Zee Bridge will commence.  (New York Times)

Crime certainly runs in the Gambino Family, as police arrested 22-year-old John Gotti—grandson of the infamous mob boss of the same name—early this morning at his home in Queens. Accused of drug-dealing, both Gotti and his girlfriend were brought to the 113th Precinct. This is Gotti’s second drug-related arrest in five weeks: Cops previously found him with 205 Oxyocdone pills, among other illegal drugs, after pulling him over for a tinted window. Gotti is one of seven culprits accused of dealing Oxycodone in Howard Beach. (Daily News)

New York skies will be visited by a perseid meteor shower this month. From August 9th to 13th—with the most meteors visible on the 12th—the perseids will reach the Empire State in nearly double the quantity of last summer’s meteors. Because the NYC lights make meteor spotting a challenge, New Yorkers should flock to areas with open skies, such as rooftops, and uphold patience, suggests Jackie Faherty, a research associate in the AMNH’s Astrophysics Department. Faherty also recommends meteor-gazing in early August, when perseid visibility is least impacted by the moon. (Gothamist)

100 drones will also take to the sky, at tomorrow’s second annual U.S. National Drone Racing Championship. Around 150 pilots, ranging from 12 to 40 in age, qualified to compete at the Governor’s Island event and will maneuver their drones in both individual and team contests at speeds reaching 60 miles per hour. Drivers will wear goggles that show the drone’s perspective and will vie for both a cash prize and an opportunity to compete at the first drone racing world championship this October. (New York Times)

The NYPD is offering a $2,500 reward for any leads about the killer of Karina Vetrano, the 30-year-old jogger found dead near her home in Howard Beach Tuesday night. When police recovered Vetrano’s body, they found signs of sexual assault and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide. The Vetrano family has proposed an additional monetary reward to anyone with useful information. (DNAinfo)

Afternoon Bulletin: New Tappan Zee Halfway There, Meteor Showers, Drones and More