The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 09 January 2019 01:00cat

Mario M. Cuomo bridge: Corruption investigation due to bolts failure

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Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Steel bolts utilized in the new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, New York City, failed during construction phase, according to reports.

The 5-km twin span cable-stayed bridge links Rockland County with Westchester County over the Hudson River. It is the largest single bridge in New York that was built using 6,000 steel-reinforced precast-concrete panels. Its construction began in October 2013.

A safety inspector revealed that workers were replacing the bolts the night before inspections. When he was asked why the failures were not immediately reported to the State Thruway Authority, he claimed that this would shut down the whole project. The issue is now under investigation by the state attorney. Engineers suggest that there is no safety concern for now. However, those facts have raised questions about how many of the bolts have been replaced and which of them might need to be replaced.

The incident has triggered reactions concerning the reliability of such projects' construction procedures. "When I hear about false certification of documents it causes me great concern. Not that there is a real technical problem. There is a corruption problem," Thomas Eagar, leading engineering expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said.

Experts from State Thruway said that they were aware about few bolt failures in 2016 and the corruption allegations in 2017. They initiated a series of repeated tests to make sure that the construction is stable. "Well over a year ago, the Thruway Authority hired independent experts to check the safety of the bolts on the new bridge. After a thorough review, and before the first span of the new bridge opened to traffic, the independent experts concluded that the actual bolts and the bridge are safe. Public safety is our highest priority and the bridge is completely safe for the traveling public," said spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.



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