ATLANTIC CITY – As the demolition job on the Tropicana’s collapsed garage moved slowly ahead Tuesday, traffic in town did the same for several hours after an accident caused a fuel spill just a block from the accident site.
Authorities said a car hit the gas tank of a tractor-trailer at Brighton and Arctic avenues, an intersection already seeing far more traffic than normal from the closing of nearby Atlantic Avenue. The truck started spilling its fuel in the street, forcing firefighters to come and clean up the area while also plugging the leak and pumping out what was left in the tank.
The morning accident and resulting cleanup clogged streets in the middle of town for almost three hours.
Meanwhile, workers continued moving cautiously at the site of the collapsed garage, which killed four men when it fell last week. A crew in a crane basket remotely operated. a saw attached to a 100-foot·tall wall left standing unsupported and reportedly swaying, after the accident The workers slowly took the wall down piece by piece; officials said they had cut down and then removed. two 33-by·9·foot sections by afternoon.
They’re doing it very carefully, and that’s what we want,· said Bob Levy, the city’s emergency management director.
Authorities believe the Tropicana’s existing garage and a 604-room hotel tower, both across the street from the accident scene, will be able to open for business again when the wall gets cut down to 70 feet high. But that could take a while, Police Capt John Mooney said from a command post at Brighton and Atlantic avenues.
And so could any trip around town over the next two days, when 40,000 to 60,000 visitors are expected. to show up at the Atlantic City Convention Center for the annual state teachers convention.
Along with the collapse detours, construction crews continue to work on the Atlantic City Expressway on the way into the city. Police and New Jersey Education Association officials encourages all convention delegates to take the train to Atlantic City if possible Thursday and Friday. NJ Transit also adding a train called the NJEA Express, which is scheduled to leave Cherry Hill at 7:42 a.m. and make all intermittent stops before getting to the convention center at 8:45 am.