Services Held for Peter Creegan, the man known amongst the Ornamental Ironworkers Local 580 and the building and Construction Trades Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties as a true bridge builder

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
Services Held for Peter Creegan
The pews in St. Elisabeth Ann Seton Church in Shrub Oak were filled with family and friends who came to pay their final respects to Peter Creegan, the man known among the Ornamental Ironworkers Local 580 and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties as a true bridge builder. And while his union does have a role in building the new Tappan Zee Bridge which is now under construction, it was Creegan’s innate ability to smooth out negotiations and to bring contractors and businesses together that was recalled during the 10 a.m. funeral Mass at the church.
Creegan died on Tuesday, Feb. 11 after being taken off life support following his fall from the roof of his Mahopac Falls home the previous Friday morning.
“Pete’s death is a terrible loss,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with Peter’s wife, Claudine, and his daughter, Lauren, as well as with his parents John and Theresa, and his brothers and sisters.  Peter was a wonderful businessman, a conciliator and such a gentleman. He is going to be sorely missed by a great many people, not just those in the construction world.”
Creegan earned the moniker ‘bridge builder’ through his uncanny negotiating skills. More often than not, Peter was successful in bringing business to the ironworkers union. As was mentioned during the funeral Mass, Peter was responsible for bringing in more union contracts than anyone else in the history of the union.
The Tappan Zee Bridge played a dual role on the Creegan family.  Peter’s father, John, also a trained ironworker, helped to assemble steel railings on the original span in the early 1950’s. Peter, who was born in 1961, six years after the first Tappan Zee Bridge was built, was also involved in work on the Tappan Zee Bridge, but his work was to coordinate the ironworkers during the construction of the new double span replacement bridge.
While professional achievements were important to Creegan, he made it known to everyone he met that his life’s greatest accomplishment was being the father of his beloved daughter, Lauren. Friends recalled hearing, often more than one time, of her many wonderful accomplishments from her very proud father.   
Another speaker brought laughter to the crowded church when he referenced heaven’s pearly gates. And now, with Peter Creegan in residence, there would be iron gates, not pearly ones, to welcome those who follow Creegan into heaven.  
Creegan’s efforts in securing a Project Labor Agreement for union workers involved with building the new TZB did not go unnoticed. The PLA created employment opportunities for union members across the Hudson Valley with provisions such as a 40 hour straight time work week for all trades and the flexibility to schedule four 10 hour work days to optimize construction; a higher ratio of apprentices to journeypersons than typically allowed in collective bargaining agreements and standardized holidays that eliminates overtime for service trades each of which saved the TZB project millions of dollars.
In his statement sent to the Journal News, Brian Conybeare, special adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the Tappan Zee project, said, “Pete was a major part of the effort to put people back to work here in the Hudson Valley after the recession and already helped get hundreds of local workers onto the New NY Bridge Project team. Pete’s dedication to others and to his profession will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences to his family and all his friends in the construction industry.” 
Another close associate of Creegan’s was Ross Pepe, president of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Hudson Valley. In his statement, Pepe recalled his friend as being “the first person we could reach out to for help” and noted that Creegan’s “wisdom, enthusiasm and candor made him truly remarkable . . . and a privilege to know.”
The Creegan family suggests that donations in Peter Creegan’s memory be made to diabetes research.