.

Vanderhoef, Other Leaders Back New TZ Bridge

Support from county executives to help in push for federal funding

County executives from Rockland, Westchester and Putnam have announced they will be formally supporting the state's .

Their backing, the executives said, will help New York State in its efforts to get federal funding for the multi-billion-dollar project to replace the linking Rockland and Westchester.

That support comes after securing assurances from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that efforts will be made to ease the impact of likely toll increases, and ensure mass transit options are included in the new bridge.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said they reached their decisions only after meeting one-on-one with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The three will officially vote at the next New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) meeting to include the project in the region's long-range transportation plan. 

"Bottom line, the bridge needs to be replaced," said Vanderhoef. "And if you're going to do that, ensure there's mass transit."

In addition, the governor and county executives agreed to establish a working group of Thruway, state, federal and local officials to examine ways to keep toll increases to the minimum necessary, including maximizing federal support, expanding discount programs for regional residents and financing mechanisms that lower the cost of credit and borrowing. 

"I have been a strong supporter on the need for a new bridge but I’ve been equally strong on the need for some form of mass transit as a way to reduce congestion and pollution," Astorino said. "Under the framework we announce today, mass transit will not be an afterthought in the building of the bridge. With plans to have mass transit as part of the new Tappan Zee Bridge we’re not waiting five years to start thinking about it, we’re moving forward now."

Odell said she is supporting the project because the new Tappan Zee bridge will provide a jolt to the economic vitality of the region, with thousands of construction and engineering jobs and the increased commerce for the region. 

"That's something that resonates with my Putnam constituents," she said.

GWH August 16, 2012 at 05:33 PM
If you don't have the time or money now to do it right and add mass transit do you really think that we will magiacally "find" the money sometime down the road? Federal and state budgets are only going to get tighter as more and more of us age and put a bigger and bigger strain on the medical system, driving up costs exponentially. And with more and more of us retiring less and less tax revenue will be added to the states coffers. Think this through politicians! Do it right or don't do it at all.
MitchP August 16, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I think adding rail to the bridge would be a complete waste of money but I don't understand why adding one or two dedicated express bus lanes would cost so much.
kent m. August 16, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Guess my questions are as follows: 1. While we realize not firm yet, how did we arrive at a $14.00 toll? Is this based on some pay off determination date? 2. Let’s assume the toll becomes $8.00 for passenger cars (more for trucks who represent a signif portion of traffic) With a daily traffic count of 135,000 vehicles, and collection of 7.56 million a week, the entire bridge cost if paid off in 12.7 years. ($5b div. by 7.56 million) Will the toll remain beyond the 12th year…and if so why, if it was put in place to pay for the bridge construction? 3. Which leads to the next question; how much RFP work has been done to determine that the new TZ bridge will in fact cost $5b or more? 4. Why isn’t the entire NY Thruway helping pay for this bridge as part of its entire network? 5. Does some of the toll monies now fund other areas; such as the waterway canals upstate? 6. Has an economic review been done to determine the effect of a toll increase of potentially 2.5 times? While we all would like a nice, new shiny bridge, but may there is a tad more homework needed before the first shovel is put in place k. murphy new city
joe martino August 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
The only people that will benefit from a new bridge are the Politicians and Organized labor as they need each other to survive. Remember the local leaders who supported this and vote them out of office when they are up for re-election. Fix the existing structure for 1/5 the cost and all benefit. Please stop insulting our intelligence - we can put people to work and keep the cost to cross the span low by repairing the existing span.
mike sullivan August 16, 2012 at 08:06 PM
1/5 the cost how did you come up with that,guess you haven't seen the study showing a new one compared to repairing. Organized labor would benifit either way. We cant insult your intelligence as it seems you don't have any Build the bridge!!!lets stop all the nonsense ,it will be built and it won't be stopped
Wonderboy August 16, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Union workers work of the books while collecting unemployment, usually for the very same companies that laid them off. They wil be the only who benefit from this.
joe martino August 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Mike - the politicians are estimating that the repair costs to fix the bridge would be 1 billion dollars, or 1/5 the cost to build a new one- simple math bro. Your point about Union labor benefiting either way is exactly my point. What local are you with?
Mary August 17, 2012 at 09:16 AM
We made it to No. 4... http://www.advisorone.com/2012/08/14/6-us-cities-on-the-edge-of-a-fiscal-cliff?page=5 The unions are destroying us.
Al August 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Gee, if most of you thought before you spoke or wrote, the rest of us wouldn't have to read your garbage. Thoughtless verbiage. Totally thoughtless. This paper needs to end the faceless comments once and for all so idiots like you don't waste our time reading your junk.
George Datino August 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Hi Al, Trying to figure out if you were serious with your comments or making some sort of ironic statement about writting faceless comments with only a screen name of Al?
Will McAvoy August 17, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I Agree with Al, there like the rest of Americans they don't know what's an important issue locally or globally and they read or watch useless news articles.
joe martino August 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I agree with George. One way not to read our garbage "AL", is to unsubscribe. It's called an opinion - we all have them and they all help the public debate

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