A state audit has shown the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey waited more than a year to conduct 47 inspections on bridges identified as having conditions that could become dangerous if ignored, the Associated Press reported. The authority has said the findings amount to a disagreement about inspection standards. Most of the problems were on the George Washington Bridge.
“The authority does not follow the New York state requirements for classifying, reporting and repairing bridge defects,” the audit team wrote. “Instead, it follows its own method but does not always satisfy the New York Department of Transportation requirements.” In a written response, port authority chief engineer Peter Zipf said auditors applied inspection standards from the New York State Department of Transportation, when the authority uses a different standard. “The program is in full technical compliance with all inspection requirements,” Zipf said. He added that his agency uses its own system of inspection standards and that the audit team incorrectly assumed they were equivalent to state standards. New York state law requires the port authority to conduct regular bridge inspections using state standards or standards modeled on the state’s system.