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Feds: No $2 Billion Loan For Tappan Zee Bridge This Round

State hoped for national funding; will have other chances

A $2 billion federal loan that could help finance building a new Tappan Zee Bridge will not be coming through, at least this time around—New York State was not invited to apply for the national funds, and was placed on a shortlist, instead.

The hefty sum would have covered about one-third of the span's $5.2 billion price tag. Patch first learned of the news through the Federal Highway Administration's website, and later confirmed the posting with transportation officials.

The money is part of a larger pot of TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loans, of which the Tappan Zee project does not presently have access to. The state will have another shot at securing TIFIA funds for the project later this year, when the new transportation budget is authorized.

"The DOT received 26 Letters of Interest (LOIs) seeking more than $13 billion in credit assistance to finance approximately $36 billion in infrastructure investment across the country," officials wrote Thursday of TIFIA funds.

Projects that do qualify for TIFIA loans are located in Virginia, Texas, California, and Colorado. New York State can reapply later this year on behalf of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Thomas Madison, executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority, says the news is not discouraging.

"We are very pleased that the Tappan Zee has been placed on a shortlist of six projects that will undergo an expedited review process for funds immediately after federal transportation reauthorization," he said Thursday. "We understand that in light of current financing constraints, the USDOT has prioritized smaller projects that are further along in development and required immediate financing in this first round."

The Tappan Zee project is one of a handful of infrastructure overhauls across the nation that were by president Barack Obama last year.

Other funding options for the project have been hazy, with selling toll-backed bonds and hiking up toll fares suggested.

The United State Department of Transportation had no comment on the loan's denial as of noon Thursday.

Resident of Rockland and Westchester have for months now, noting a bridge without rail and bus is not one worth building.

If the state includes mass transit, the pricetag would swell to about $16 billion, state officials have said.

Earlier this week, residents of Salisbury Point Cooperative—an apartment community at the foot of the current span in South Nyack—met to . Homeowners noted construction would likely decrease their quality of life, create unwanted noise and disturb creatures in the Hudson River.

Riverkeeper, a Hudson Valley non-profit that acts as an environmental watchdog, has stated they're over ecological concerns. The Atlantic sturgeon, an endangered fish, makes its home under the span.

Currently, the state is spending millions of dollars on tests preparing for construction. "The smart early work is underway," said Madison in March. Workers are installing test piles to determine what loads the final piles can bear.

Congressional staffers in Washington, D.C., today said the issue that seems clear from this round of approved projects is that there was not enough money immediately available for the Tappan Zee Bridge project. The projects that have been selected total about $1.6 billion—whereas the Tappan Zee request was for $2 billion.

In a statement issued this afternoon, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said the federal announcement does keep the door open for the new Tappan Zee bridge.

"The Senate transportation bill that passed with a large bipartisan majority makes a significant investment in the TIFIA program," their statement said. "If the House agrees with that investment, the Tappan Zee has a good chance of being approved, and we hope the House will agree."

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said today's announcement was disappointing and it adds more uncertainty to the bridge project.

Stephen J. Reich April 26, 2012 at 09:15 PM
The TZ was SD before deck replacement. It will be a money pit to keep it that way. Also, as with the failure in Minnesota, it will happen with no warning if it does. I believe the Minnesota collapse was a bridge that was not SD as well. Not 100% on that though.
McKey Rivers April 26, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I get a bad sense about this project. Pushing approvals before the environmental impact is completed, the feds denying the loan application on a project that the President put on a "fast track" status, no actual mass transit component when any sensible person knows this is sorely needed, the TZ replacement project is starting to stink all over. What are we not being told?
Katie Ryan O'Connor April 27, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Really interesting comments so far I have to say.
Mike April 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I thought taxing the rich was going to solve all our economic problems?
Mike April 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM
This is an excellent example of where we are as a nation. We are a country that is literally broke. We have no money and it's only going to get worse certainly by the end of this year and for at least the next several years unless there are significant and fundamental changes to our tax system and the workin of government. We have what can only be described as a train wreck headed our way by year end. Congress needs to find money for the Medicare doctor fix, payroll tax, unemployment tax. Add to that the sequestration imposed by failure of Super Comittee to strike a deal. It's a mess
LaMigra April 27, 2012 at 12:18 PM
The chinese built a 26 mile long bridge for 2.3b. Get them to build it. Obama will give money to Brazil to drill oil we can't buy and to Hamas to kill jews with, but to replace a decrepit bridge in the USA. No way! Vote this commie and his cadre vermin out in November or watch the country turn into Greece then Haiti. It's up to you!
Fly on the Wall April 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I get the feeling Obama is telling all you rich NY'ers to pay for it yourself; He's to busy sending money to Pakistan and India to fund their arms race.
Walt April 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Maybe instead of wasting $500K our money flying to 3 separate battleground states and going to 3 separate big universities in one day to say that he wants to keep college loans affordable obama could have his re-election campaign pay for this nonsense and use our taxes to fix bridges and other infrastructure repairs.
Bob Fallon April 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Attempting to build not one but twp bridges over the Hudson is a catasrophe to all. Besides this concept is a 19th century proposal in the 21st century. The modern way to go is with a tunnel. Bob
Stephen J. Reich April 27, 2012 at 03:10 PM
If you people think Obama has control of this process 100% you are mistaken. If he did you would have a bridge, rail, and a corridor wide deal already started.
Walt April 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
So he can "fast track" the proposal and grab some headlines and all his constituents can point at it and say what a great leader he is and how he came to our rescue but when it comes right down to it, he really has no in put into the process? In essence you're saying that we were all played but obama.
Stephen J. Reich April 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Walt, Only time will tell if you are correct. I hope not.
Alex Umrichin April 27, 2012 at 05:44 PM
The Chines built it with what amounts to slave labor so using them as an example is not valid.
Francis T McVetty April 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
LaMigra, they are already building the Oakland Bay bridge, the Chinese.
bruiser April 27, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Wait your comment is very disingenuous to say the least,every single president has done the same as this president is doing.I ask what is it different now,what has changed to make make you say these thing's?. Our economy,it is no different now than when President Bush was in office with one exception,it is actually starting to improve. I ask what is it that you have against people going to college? Please be honest and let us know what the difference is.
Walt April 27, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Bruiser, I'm glad you think $500K is not a lot of money but regular people that have to pay for everything certainly do. However our economy is not starting to improve and if you did a little research you'd see that it actually slowed the first quarter of this year, not that the MSM would tell you any bad news that may hurt obama. I think people getting a job after college is more important and obama has failed miserably in that regard. Instead he manufacture some nonsense that the GOP is against college loans and goes campaigning on our money. I have nothing against people going to college but he could have made his speech from the Rose Garden at the WH instead of traveling to 3 separate universities in 3 separate states. Lastly, Although I cannot think of any incident from past Presidents so over the top and arrogant as this past move at least we are in agreement that obama is no better than his predecessor.
bruiser April 27, 2012 at 09:16 PM
First things first wait i never said 500 thousand wasn't lot of money nice try though,what i said was this president is no different than past presidents they all have done it,only now it seems to be an issue.I would like to know why that is.2nd our economy is improving it is my job to check the real facts and i am sorry to report they are improving whether the Gop likes it or not.I will agree this president is no better than his predecessor,but i have done my homework on our illustrious candidates and willard will be no better, as a matter of fact he will make it worse.3rd i do not and will not watch msn,or fox news and the reason is each one leans to far left or to far right,please understand i am an independent voter who considers himself a moderate, and at this time though most independents have made up their minds and the GOP will not like it to much.
Walt April 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Bruiser, FYI, MSM means main stream media. Remember the trillion dollar stimulus that was rammed through the Democratic Congress and signed by obama in record time to keep unemployment "under 8%"? Well it is still well over 8% and in reality the number is up in the high teens because people have just given up. Here's a link showing that the economy has slowed again for the first 3 months of 2012. So tell me how the economy is improving? Because the Democrats say it is? http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/27/news/economy/gdp-economic-growth/index.htm Inflation, gas prices, obamacare, Iran going nuclear, the spread of muslim fundamentalism in previously moderate governments and don't forget the growing debt. If you want to vote for obama then go right ahead. In fact you're right, he is unbeatable so stay home, watch TV and pretend everything is grand..
bruiser April 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Wait please accept my apology i forgot to use MSNBC i ain't perfect by no means,and i never said he was unbeatable because he is.I will say he is in the drivers seat and is not a stupid man by any means,never ever make that mistake my friend.I see you wrote a list of things he is guilty of,again i don't see it and as for CNN i do not watch them either,as for him failing miserably that might be somewhat true but Boehner and the GOP are no better.This will be a fairly close election and as i have stated on other occasions it is my job to look at the numbers everyday twice a day and so far the GOP is losing and the biggest reason is they to have failed the American people as much as the democrats and that is my opinion.
John Gromada April 27, 2012 at 11:02 PM
This getting way off topic and tiresome.
Richard April 28, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Doesn't matter what the original topic was. These comment posts always degenerate to us against them or me against you. And whether the comment is factual is of little importance as long as it supports the writer's position.
Walt April 28, 2012 at 01:25 PM
So Richard, it isn't a big deal to you that obama visited 3 different battleground states and visited 3 separate universities which cost the US taxpayers a half million dollars for the sole reason to bash Republicans about the upcoming increase to student loan rates? You don't think he should pay for these campaign trips out of his billion dollar re-election war chest or do you prefer to act like it didn't happen?
Richard April 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Precisely. Not worth dignifying with another comment.
Walt April 28, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Thanks for your input, you can now stick your head back in the sand.
Richard April 28, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Such hostility. Don't you take anything for that?
Walt April 28, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Nice try, deflect and distract. Straight out of obama 101. Can't you answer a direct question?
Walden Macnair April 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Walt, Do you mean to say that the President is campaigning for re-election? My God!!! I'm sure no Republican would do that. Oh wait, Now I remember, George H and George W did the same thing. Oh well, if the Bush boys did it, it must be okay.
Walt April 28, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Walden, I have no problem with obama campaigning, just use money from his billion dollar war chest to do it. I'm also fully aware that past Presidents have campaigned while "traveling on official business" but it is done as an add on to whatever business they are in town for. obama's latest trip was done for one reason and one reason only, to campaign in battleground states and attempt to get support from college age voters. To me it simply highlights his arrogance toward the American people because their wasn't even an attempt to make the trip look official and even more frightening is that the MSM once again lets him get away with it without any criticism.
johnmartin October 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM
$2 Billion is not a small amount of money. $2 Billion loan is very big loan; generally these loans are used for establishing any business or reestablishing any business. The process of loan disbursement would be also very critical and difficult. http://www.paydayau.com.au
Teena Reed November 08, 2012 at 12:36 PM
The upper management people of the Tappan Zee project must think about the loan policies of Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, before applying for the big loan. http://www.paydayin1hour.co.uk

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