While there is still a possibility that the old Tappan Zee Bridge east span could fall, the president of Tappan Zee Constructors says plans are to move forward and open the new bridge span this week.
Do you think the opening of the new Tappan Zee Bridge's second span was rushed for political reasons?
"The safety of the traveling public and our workforce is Tappan Zee Constructors top priority," said Terry Towle, Tappan Zee Constructors' president and project executive.
But, after careful evaluation, Towle said the opening of the new Westchester-bound span will take place Tuesday evening, "weather permitting."
"Tappan Zee Constructors has determined that the old Tappan Zee Bridge east anchor span is damaged but currently stable with certain key components highly stressed," Towle said. "This condition does not threaten the new, twin-span bridge, which is prepared and ready to receive traffic."
While there remains a possibility of the old bridge east span failing, in the event it does, Towle said it will fall within a safety zone that does not affect vessel traffic or the structural integrity of the new eastbound bridge.
"With the completion of this initial assessment, we have recommended to the Thruway Authority that traffic can be shifted to the eastbound span," he added.
Weather could play a large part in the opening with the National Weather Service forecasting a 60 percent of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noontime and a 40 percent chance into Tuesday evening. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain.
The opening of the second span of the new bridge, which was planned for overnight Friday into Saturday, was postponed after the New York State Thruway Authority said a piece of the old bridge became destabilized and could collapse.
Workers on Friday heard what they described as a "loud pop" from the old Tappan Zee Bridge around 5 p.m. Authorities were concerned the old bridge could fall, Towle said and made the decision to cancel the opening until drones and helicopters could take pictures of the structure to gauge its structural integrity.
After the cancellation was announced, politicians facing Cuomo in an upcoming primary and November election said the governor used the span's opening as a chance to put on a lavish grand opening.
Currently, the opening of the new span is scheduled around 8 or 9 p.m., Tuesday, again, weather permitting.
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