Litigation continues to plague the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York — nearly a year after reports indicated it was facing budgetary risk when general contractor consortium Tappan Zee Constructors claimed the state owed them an additional $900 million in construction costs.
On September 18, 2020, Tappan Zee Constructors filed another complaint relating to the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The complaint was filed against Foothills Bridge Co., alleging the engineering firm did not prepare correct plans for removing a span within the bridge.
The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which opened in 2018, replaced the original Tappan Zee bridge that was demolished in 2017. The new bridge stretches 3 miles between Rockland and Westchester counties, and originally cost $3.9 million to build, according to Politico New York.
GC and consortium Tappan Zee Constructors is made up of four different companies: Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast, and Traylor Brothers.
In November of 2019, the consortium filed court papers with the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Albany alleging that the state not only owes them $900 million, but also alleging that the state broke public disclosure laws by not allowing them to access records they reportedly needed to pursue the claim.
On October 27, 2020, State Supreme Court Judge dismissed Tappan Zee Constructors’ lawsuit, ruling in favor of the New York State Thruway Authority.
As the Albany Business Journal reports: “In his ruling, Lynch wrote Tappan Zee Constructors ‘substantially prevailed’ in the FOIL request because the Thruway Authority ‘did provide timely and continuous monthly updates, and disclosed 10,600 pages of requested materials to date.'”
Tappan Zee Constructors files for limitation of liability
Tappan Zee Constructors’ notable November 2019 and September 2020 filings against the Supreme Court of the State of New York and Foothills Bridge Co. respectively are not the only litigation surrounding the bridge’s construction.
On March 30, 2020, Tappan Zee Constructors filed a motion for limitation of liability with the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York.
According to the court document, an accident from October 17, 2019 involving a spud barge owned by Tappan Zee Constructors injured one individual not employed by the consortium.
The filing states that the individual was injured while riding in a tugboat along the Hudson River during the construction of the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo bridge.
Supplier litigation filed against Tappan Zee Constructors
On April 14, 2020, lighting supplier Seaport Lighting, Inc. filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York against Tappan Zee Constructors.
According to the court document, the supplier alleged that the GC failed to comply with the material specifications in the lighting equipment package assembled for the project by the supplier.
The court document also claims that Tappan Zee Constructors sought to blame Seaport Lighting for the resulting equipment failures.