Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge

Federal Highway Administration Vouches for Cuomo Bridge Safety

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March 23, 2021

After reviewing technical investigations of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a statement last week, saying that they had no concerns for the safety of the bridge. The statement followed a lengthy report in the Albany Times Union that resurrected claims dating back to 2016 that bolts used to connect the bridge’s massive steel plates were flawed and tended to snap.

“Since the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge went into service in 2017, it has been regularly and thoroughly inspected as required by National Bridge Inspection Standards,” said Acting FHWA Director Doug Hecox. “These inspections have not revealed any safety issues with the bridge. FHWA is aware of recent allegations of safety issues related to bolt failures, as well as the New York State Thruway Authority’s independent testing and study of these issues. FHWA has reviewed inspection reports and other information from NYSTA and has no safety concerns with these bridges.”

In releasing the statement over the weekend, Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll and Project Director Jamey Barbas wrote: “We want to reiterate that the bridge is completely safe for the traveling public” (underlining as in the statement).

“As we have previously detailed,” stated Driscoll and Barbas, “ the Thruway Authority spent more than one million dollars, brought in world-renowned experts, and studied and tested hundreds of bolts when the issue first arose in 2016. The tests confirmed that the bolts met all required material standards.”

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