Contractor stresses New York bridge is safe after allegations of faulty bolts cover up

The construction team behind the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge has stressed that the New York bridge is safe, following a report which questions the use of faulty bolts in the bridges construction. . . The twin cable-stayed bridge spans the Hudson River, and was built in 2017 as a replacement to the Tappan Zee bridge, which was deemed structurally unsound. . . An investigation by The Albany Times Union alleges that the contractor Tappan Zee Constructors TZC made up of Fluor, American Bridge, Traylor Bros and Granite covered up structural problems during the bridges construction, including the use of faulty bolts. . . In the Albany Times Union piece, a TZC safety manager alleges that hed seen broken bolts and taped interviews with workers that appeared to confirm that the contractors team hid the matter from inspectors. . . One bridge expert, Ahmad Itani, is also quoted as saying that the volume of bolt failures on the bridge are unprecedented and highly alarming. . . However, TZC project director Jamey Barbas has slammed the allegations as misleading and erroneous. . . The New York Thruway Authority has also denied any issues of concern over the $3. 9bn 2. 8bn bridge. . . The bridge has been and continues to be safe, Barbas said. . . Barbas confirmed that concerns surfaced during construction around the bolts used on the bridge and a full investigation was carried out. Barbas added that investigation concluded that the bolts were not defective. . . I immediately took samples and bolts that were used on the bridge and hired the absolutely best experts in the world, spending over a million dollars on this assessment testing, she said. . . More than a years worth of testing led to the conclusion that there was a manufacturing defect that led to some bolts breaking during tightening, Barbas said. . . Out of anything you manufacture there is going to be a certain percent that have defects, Barbas said. Its not uncommon on jobs to have broken bolts but the percent has to be very small. . . In its most recent inspection, workers found just one bolt out of hundreds of thousands that had failed. . . Barbas said that even if with a small amount of bolt failures, the bridge was built with numerous redundancies that would prevent a collapse. . . Its not in the realm of possibility, Barbas said. Even if one connection is compromised, it doesnt fail the girder system because the load is shared with other girders . . . If anything happens to one girder it doesnt fall down.

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