Mario Cuomo Bridge

Roger Stern/1010 WINS

Report: Cuomo pressured contractor to finish bridge before primary

September 11, 2018 - 7:42 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The Cuomo administration offered to pay excess bills and shoulder liability for accidents to get the new Mario Cuomo Bridge open for traffic, according to a New York Times report.

The second span of the bridge was slotted to open Tuesday night after having been delayed Saturday over concerns that the old Tappan Zee Bridge could collapse on to the new structure.

Engineers discovered rotting joints while dismantling the old bridge and feared the remnants of the Tappan Zee could suddenly collapse.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political opponents quickly suggested that he rushed the opening of the new span in order to help his campaign for re-election.

Cuomo denied playing any role in the timetable of the opening of the new span, but a report in the Times suggested otherwise.

The report claimed that an employee from the Thruway Authority wrote a letter to the contractor in July in an attempt to convince the project leader to meet a late August deadline. They implied that the state would absorb premium costs.

The letter also said the contractor would not be responsible for any accidents that might happen on the bridge if it opened before construction was actually finished.