NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The second and final span of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opened to commuters Wednesday morning.

The nearly $4 billion project is more than five years in the making.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently celebrated the completion of the second span. But hours later, plans for its full opening halted over safety concerns.

There were concerns the old Tappan Zee Bridge might collapse onto the new one.

Then, the timing of the controversy was called into question. The snafu came just days ahead of the Democratic primary.

“Is it just coincidence that it opens less than a week before the election, at a time when he is under such attack for having done such a poor job with infrastructure?” Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon said.

The governor fired back Sunday.

“In political silly season, people can say anything. That’s the point about the world is flat, you know, they’ll say whatever they want to say,” he said.

A letter obtained by the New York Times also raised questions about whether the Cuomo administration offered incentives to get the job done closer to the primary. The letter, written by an official with the New York State Thruway Authority, directs Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) to complete the work so the bridge could open August 24.

A Thruway Authority official blamed the timing on weather and said the contract does not contain any incentive clauses, adding “I did so without advising or in consultation with anyone in the governor’s office.”

The authority said Tuesday night the old Tappan Zee had been deemed stable, therefore allowing crews to open the eastbound span of the new structure.


Leave a Reply