New York Democratic representatives are demanding that the federal government investigate the structure of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge because of alleged flaws four years after it was built.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who is embroiled in alleged sexual harassment scandals and is under investigation for concealing official figures on nursing home deaths, must now deal with allegations about the structural integrity of the bridge that bears his father’s name.
U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to investigate allegations that that contractors on the bridge “covered up” faulty bolts in the structure. At issue is the massive bridge over the Hudson River.
Jones’ request comes after the Times Union, a newspaper in the NY’s capital, revealed that Tappan Zee Constructors, which built the bridge, allegedly concealed that bolts used in the design were breaking at the height of construction, which cost $4 billion and was completed in 2017.
“I implore you to work with the New York State Department of Transportation to ensure proper inspections are conducted to assure the public of the safety of the bridge,” Jones wrote.
For its part, the New York State Thruway Authority denied there were problems with the bridge, but a 2017 investigation launched by the state’s attorney general after a whistleblower alleged a cover-up over the bolt problem resulted in a nearly $2 million settlement with the state.
Whistleblower James McNall, who worked for a subcontractor on the project, alleged that the engineer in charge of assembling the span’s girders ordered “any broken bolts quickly disposed of in a metal scrap container before state inspectors noticed.”
Meanwhile, an outside bridge expert hired by McNall found that “the volume of bolt failures on the bridge is unprecedented and very alarming,” the Times-Union reported.
“If 30 bolts have broken, a much larger number (300, 3,000 or more) could be weakening and endangering the structure,” the specialist said.
After learning of the Mario Cuomo Bridge situation, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also called for an investigation.
“There needs to be an investigation into what happened with the Tappan Zee Bridge,” De Blasio said as he called all the scandals surrounding the New York governor “disgusting.”
The other scandals surrounding Cuomo
Governor Cuomo is at his worst moment, because in addition to what is happening with the bridge, he is also facing hundreds of resignation requests due to the scandals in which he is involved.
The governor already has 6 allegations of sexual misconduct, and is facing investigations by the State Assembly and the New York District Attorney’s Office, with a strong possibility of impeachment.
He also faces another federal investigation for willfully concealing the true number of elderly deaths in nursing homes in the state.