Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A major bridge repair project has been put on hold -- for at least a week -- while construction crews wait on a replacement part after a bizarre theft over the weekend.
A green block of steel, weighing in upwards of 280 pounds was taken from the top of the Bear Street Bridge and the State DOT has no idea how it happened.
You’ve probably never noticed one before, but apparently someone else zeroed in on the piece of steel meant to be a spacer between the bridge’s steel beams.
"Tough to lift even for the two of us, sitting 12 feet up off the ground, even with the scaffolding -- very, very tough to remove. I'm scratching my head trying to figure it out,” said Gene Cilento with the State DOT.
Cilento says the crew working on the Bear Street Bridge over Onondaga Creek noticed it was gone Monday morning. He says there are no tire tracks, making it even harder to figure out how someone got away with it.
The hefty piece of steel is worth about $3,000 dollars and according to Cilento, besides being very heavy, it’s very specialized. Cilento says it will cost thousands to replace it.
"It's a relatively small piece, but it has to be fabricated from a number of smaller pieces all welded together, cut together, assembled into this highly specialized piece of equipment,” Cilento continued.
Cilento says the bridge is safe. The beam is being held up by blocking, so there’s no danger. It’s just a costly inconvenience and a perplexing mystery.
Cilento says the new piece should be in by next Friday. Syracuse Police are investigating the incident.