Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a news release this afternoon with statements from additional public officials in Rockland and Westchester counties who support his plan for a new Tappan Zee Bridge. The $5 billion new bridge would have the capacity to add public transit. Advocates have pushed for including public transit on the new bridge, but the Cuomo administration has said that would be too expensive—a total of $10 billion.
The cash toll on the bridge would increase from $5 to $14 for the new bridge, which is scheduled to open in 2017. The commuter discount would be $8.40.
“As we continue a productive dialogue with the impacted communities in the Hudson Valley and move forward in our plans to build a safer and transit-ready bridge, support for a new bridge continues to grow,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The choice is clear: Instead of paying more for the same bridge, it’s time to invest in a new bridge that will create jobs, reduce congestion and give the region a real transit option.”
The release includes statements from Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis, Rockland County Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City.
These are some of their comments:
Spano: “The Governor’s plan has my support. This is a critical project for our region, not only to improve travel but also to bring in thousands of high quality jobs for local workers at a time too many people are struggling to get through the recession.”
Roach: “It is clear that the wisest choice is a new bridge, which will help relieve congestion, be safer for drivers and cost commuters little more than they would be paying for the old bridge with needed improvements. The Governor’s plan is the smartest option to meet the long-term needs of our regional economy and transportation system.”
Davis: “After many years of talk but no action, I agree with the Governor that now is the time to proceed with a new bridge that will be safer and less congested, has the option to add public transit and will create thousands of much-needed jobs in our community,” said Mt. Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis.
Cornell: “Rockland County commuters know all too well how difficult and frustrating it is to depend on the obsolete, over-crowded Tappan Zee, and given that repairs to the existing bridge would be almost the same cost as a new bridge, it is clear that the Governor’s plan for a new, transit-ready bridge with express bus lanes from day one is the smartest option.”