Tappan Zee damage not a threat to Mario Cuomo Bridge; 2nd span to shift traffic Tuesday

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NEW YORK — The second span of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has been given the green light to open following fears of the old Tappan Zee Bridge’s stability.

After an evaluation, officials determined the old Tappan Zee east span is “damaged, but currently stable” and its condition does not threaten the new Westchester-bound span of the Mario Cuomo Bridge, Tappan Zee Constructors president Terry Towle said.

In the event remains of the old bridge fails, the agency said it will fall within a safety zone that does not affect traffic or the structure of the new bridge.

The evaluation comes a day after the initial scheduled opening of the bridge was postponed after a piece of the old bridge destabilized, leading to a potential to fall. As a precaution, authorities decided to postpone the opening.

Saturday’s postponed opening happened just hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a ribbon cutting ceremony on the bridge. His rivals, including Cynthia Nixon criticized Cuomo, claiming the opening was rushed ahead of the primary elections.

If weather permits, the traffic shift is scheduled to be done Tuesday evening.

When opened, each span will have four lanes of traffic going each direction.

The new bridge’s first span opened last year, when the structure was named to honor Mario Cuomo, governor from 1983 to 1994 and father of the state’s current chief executive. He died on Jan. 1, 2015.

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