After years of traffic hassles and plenty of sweat, complicated engineering and hard work, the day has finally arrived for the opening of the second span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Drum roll, please -- the official date is late Friday, Sept. 7, into early Saturday, Sept. 8.
"People talked for decades about replacing the old Tappan Zee Bridge," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Twitter. "We’re actually getting it done. The second span of the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opens this Saturday."
The opening will be similar to the earlier opening of the first span with the four lanes of Westchester-bound traffic shifted onto the second span beginning late Friday night and continuing into early Saturday morning.
Word has it there will be an official ceremony on Friday.
Cuomo said work has been sped up to move up the opening. Before late Friday, workers will still need to pour blacktop and paint lane stripes, as well putting up the final sections of the anti-climbing fence, in addition to other small jobs.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who is running against Cuomo in November, said he is not happy the governor didn't seize the opportunity of the opening to make a name change, back to Tappan Zee.
"Andrew Cuomo blew an opportunity today to honor the will of Hudson Valley families and Native American New Yorkers who want the words ‘Tappan Zee’ returned to the name of the bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties," Molinaro said.
More than 100,000 New Yorkers have signed a petition asking Cuomo to do that, citing the historic importance of the Native American Tappan tribe to the area.
“Mr. Cuomo stripped the former ‘Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge’ of its name in the middle of the night in 2017 -- without any public input -- in favor of his family name, and that was wrong," he added.
“Be assured that, as governor, I will move to return the Tappan Zee name to the bridge with full public hearings. And I will gladly find other, more appropriate ways to honor the late Governor Cuomo.”
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