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MTA fires back at President Trump after he claims tiles, loose concrete fall from NYC tunnels

Posted at 2:08 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 02:08:53-05

NEW YORK – If you talk to New Yorkers and experts they'll tell you that the structures in the city are past their expiration date, but when the President made comments about the Midtown and Lincoln tunnels that had the MTA on the defensive.

"Our highways, our bridges are unsafe," Trump said at a gathering of Democratic and Republican governors at the White House Monday. "So we have to fix our infrastructure. It's not like we have a choice."

The talking points were different in comparison to what Trump said on the stump last year. That is until Trump said the following:

"Take a look at the Lincoln Tunnel and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and you're driving and you see all this loose material that's heavy. It was made many years ago so it's heavy. Today its light. It used to be better. The problem is that we have to hold it up. And every time I drive through I say 'Man, I wonder how many people are hurt and injured when they're driving 40, 50 miles an hour through a tunnel and a tile falls off.' There's so many missing tiles and such loose concrete."

That comment regarding dangerous tiles, hanging and falling through Manhattan's key transportation arteries had the MTA responding through a spokesperson, who defended the agency.

"Not a single person has been injured by any falling tiles because no tiles are falling – they are being replaced by workers as part of an infrastructure project to repair the tunnel from Hurricane Sandy damage," Beth Defalco, MTA's director of communication said.

It is true several tunnels suffered significant damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy being flooded out, but as far as tiles falling from the ceilings of the tunnels, a few truck drivers weren't so sure.

"I go through so fast so I don't really see it," Eric Allen said. "But it does fall."

Well you see some tiles that are broken in the Lincoln Tunnel because that's the way I always come but I've never gotten hit," Marvin Pacheco said.

So what will New Yorkers see in the future? A new Midtown Tunnel since it is in midst of a refurbishing 4-year project for $200 million.