Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the weekend called the proposal advanced by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of closing Rikers Island an “intriguing idea” given the controversy that has surrounded the city’s main jail complex.

“I think that is a very interesting and intriguing idea because Rikers Island as a physical plan is dated,” Cuomo said, adding the facility is a “big problem.”

“Rikers Island goes back to, like, the 1930s. It is very large and the design makes the operation of it more difficult.”

Cuomo as governor has closed a number of state prison facilities around the state, reducing the number of beds — and costs — in the process.

Rikers represents more than a symbolic challenge though, given abuse and neglect that have been alleged and investigated at the facility. Cuomo said those problems appear to have been accelerated in recent years, citing an investigation conducted by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office.

“Rikers has been the scene for problems for years. They’ve gotten worse recently,” he said. “We had a federal investigators for civil rights violations, but it is a truly troubled facility. I believe the design of it is one of the aggravating factors.”

At the same time, Cuomo indicated closing the prison, or at least dramatically overhauling it so it fits a more modern idea of jailing, should be a consideration.

“The physical plan is a problem,” Cuomo said. “It has been troubled for many, many years. How do you fix it? Big problems require big solutions.”