After an unexpected delay, the new span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo bridge may be opened to traffic this week.
Officials held a ribbon cutting for the second 3.1-mile span over the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester Counties on Friday, only for traffic to be restricted to a single span hours later due to safety concerns.
Terry Towle, President and Project Manager of Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC, said in a statement that a portion of the old Tappan Zee Bridge, which is being dismantled, has been damaged but remains stable.
“While there remains a possibility of the old bridge east span failing, in the event it does, it will fall within a safety zone that does not affect vessel traffic or the structural integrity of the new eastbound bridge," said Towle.
Weather permitting, the span is set to reopen Tuesday.
But the delay didn’t stop Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political opponents from calling for an investigation.
Cuomo called the timing of the safety issues on the old bridge, arising just before the new span was to open publicly, a "bizarre coincidence." Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, held a press conference Sunday in Tarrytown near the bridge, calling for an outside, independent investigation.
“It raises real questions about whether the bridge span opening was accelerated to aid in the governor’s re-election campaign,” says Nixon.
Earlier Sunday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro also held a press conference in Tarrytown, calling for the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the matter. State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew Driscoll called on those politicizing public safety to stop.