The opening of a new bridge over the Hudson River has been delayed only a day after the opening ceremony due to a "potentially dangerous situation".
On Friday, Hilary Clinton joined the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to officially inaugurate the second section of the new Mario M Cuomo bridge, named after the late father of the current governor.
But its opening scheduled for Saturday has been delayed since a part of the bridge it is replacing was destabilized and threatens to fall, officials said.
The new $ 4 billion bridge connects Westchester and Rockland counties 30 miles north of New York City and is replacing the old Tappan Zee Bridge, which opened in 1955, and is in the process of being demolished.
Hilary Clinton joined the current governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bridge that bears his father's name on Friday
The opening has been pushed back after a piece of the bridge it is replacing, Tappan Zee, was destabilized and threatened to fall.
The Mario M Cuomo bridge over the Hudson River will open on Saturday, named after the former governor of New York
The New York State Highways Authority says that "a potentially dangerous situation" developed on Friday night when a part of the old Tappan Zee Bridge was destabilized during the ongoing dismantling process.
"Given its proximity to the new completed section, due to a great deal of caution, motorists will remain in the current traffic configuration until a comprehensive assessment of Tappan Zee Constructors is completed," said Matthew J. Driscoll, head of the state highway. from New York. Authority.
The closure has been met with criticism from Cuomo's rivals, including candidate Cynthia Nixon, who says the ceremony was scheduled for positive coverage before the primaries.
"The second section is finished and ready to open to traffic as soon as the Motorways Authority is confident that there is no risk for the new section," he added.
The problem came hours after Democratic Governor Cuomo held a grand opening ceremony for the new stretch of the bridge and joined former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.
Cuomo said Friday that the new bridge "shows the world that we are capable of dreaming big and delivering results for the people of this state."
However, Cuomo's rivals claim that the timing of the ribbon cutting ceremony was a trick, since it occurred a few days before the primaries.
His main opponent, the actress Cynthia Nixon, condemned the opening of the Cuomo bridge as a dangerous stratagem of positive coverage before the elections.
"A tape-cutting ceremony should not have been held if the bridge section was not yet safe," Nixon said in a statement Saturday. "There are real and reasonable questions about whether the opening of this bridge was accelerated to help the governor's campaign."
"Safety has to come first," Nixon reiterated in a tweet on Saturday. The Governor should not rush to cut the tape on a bridge if it is still not safe.
"There are real and reasonable questions about whether the opening of this bridge was accelerated to help Governor Cuomo's campaign."
Nixon speculates that the ceremony was a ploy just before the primary elections
The new $ 4 billion bridge connects Westchester and Rockland counties 30 miles north of New York City
Nixon used the hashtag # CuomosBridgegate & # 39; as a Bridgegate scandal of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in which the George Washington Bridge tracks were closed, causing extreme delays.
The first section of the new bridge was opened last year.
Cuomo, who is also considered a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, has been a frequent critic of Trump, a native New Yorker who defeated Clinton in the 2016 election.
During a speech given before the ceremonial ribbon cutting, Clinton praised the state officials who guided the construction of the bridge and the 7,000 workers who built the 3.1 mile long twin stretches.
"It is time for the United States of America to take a look at what is being done here in New York and follow this example," he said.
Cuomo said the new bridge, the largest infrastructure project in the country, has "national importance". because it is an example of what the nation can achieve despite deep political differences today.
"This bridge restores confidence in ourselves," he said. "At a time when the president is obsessed with his singular goal of building a wall, this bridge faces a challenging opposition."
New York Govorner Andrew Cuomo drives a 1932 Packard while his girlfriend, television chef Sandra Lee, kisses him as he crosses the bridge that bears his father's name