Cuomo opponents: Is bridge safe?
Political opponents of Gov. Andrew Cuomo are accusing the governor of playing politics with the opening of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The opening of the second span of the new bridge was delayed after problems were discovered with the Old Tappan Zee Bridge. Tappan Zee Constructors say the eastbound span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is expected to open Tuesday night.
Both Republican Gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro and Gov. Cuomo's Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon are accusing the governor of pushing the opening to get it done before this week's primary election.
In a statement, Nixon claims Cuomo was using the bridge opening for his own political gain. “Safety has to come above all else, and the governor needs to be fully transparent about what happened here,” the statement says. “A ribbon-cutting ceremony should not have been held if the bridge span was not yet safe. There are real, reasonable questions about whether this bridge span opening was accelerated to aid the governor's campaign. Gov. Cuomo needs to answer those questions swiftly, and allow for an expedited FOIL process. There must also be an investigation.”
During an impromptu press conference that was held Sunday at the Tarrytown train station, Molinaro asked the incumbent to explain what happened on Friday. "The governor and this administration forced and rushed the opening of this new bridge without consideration for appropriate construction timelines and putting at risk the public safety," says Molinaro.
The planned opening of the eastbound lanes of the new bridge were delayed after a loud pop Friday had workers worried parts of the old bridge may come down.
The loud pop happened just hours after a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the grand opening of the lanes. Workers found worrisome spots on the Tappan Zee Bridge being dismantled alongside the new span and alerted authorities.
Officials have now determined that the old bridge is damaged, but stable. They say if the old bridge's east span was to fall, it would not affect the new bridge in any way.
Cuomo and his camp are standing by the strategy and focus on safety. "The Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is complete and ready for traffic and the action taken by TPZ construction, given the potential issue on the old structure, was out of abundance of caution and about public safety. Anyone trying to score political points off of it only underscores why they are unfit to serve," said Cuomo's press office.