New Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Span to Open for Wednesday Morning Commute After Tappan Zee Scare: Officials

What to Know

  • The new span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is scheduled to open Tuesday evening after delays
  • The bridge opening was postponed over fears that the old Tappan Zee Bridge might collapse
  • Officials now say that even if the Tappan Zee collapses, it won't danger boat traffic or the new bridge

Officials plan to open the second span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge after delays caused by concerns over the stability of the old Tappan Zee Bridge, officials said Sunday. 

The Tappan Zee is damaged but stable with "certain key components highly stressed," said Terry Towle, president of Tappan Zee Constructors. 

Even if the bridge does fall, it won't affect boat traffic in the water or the new bridge, Towle said. 

"The safety of the traveling public and our workforce is Tappan Zee Constructors top priority," Towle said in a statement. 

The span is scheduled to open Tuesday evening, weather permitting, Towle said. That means the bridge will effectively be open for the Wednesday morning commute. 

The first span of the bridge named for the late governor opened last August, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday that marked the completion of the second span.

The second span was supposed to open to traffic Saturday, but engineers working on disassembling the nearby Tappan Zee Bridge discovered one of the bridge’s joints was “ripped." The opening was delayed over fears that the Tappan Zee could collapse.

Asked about claims that he rushed to open the bridge ahead of the Sept. 13 Democratic primary, Cuomo said the issues on the Tappan Zee “[had] nothing to do with the new bridge.” Tappan Zee Contractors were the ones who originally recommended a September 8 opening date, Towle said. 

Cuomo’s primary rivals Cynthia Nixon and Marc Molinaro on Saturday both took aim at Cuomo over the bridge troubles, with Nixon maintaining that a “ribbon cutting ceremony should not have been held if the bridge span was not yet safe.”

“It’s nonsensical because the new span is fine,” Cuomo said Sunday. “The issue is with the old bridge.”

Contractors weren’t supposed to finish taking down the Tappan Zee until next July, Cuomo noted, adding that his team “didn’t make the decision on the opening of the new span, the contractor did.”

“In political silly season people can say anything,” he said. “They’ll say whatever they have to say.”

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