Is New Tappan Zee Bridge The Divide Between Cuomo and Astorino?


In July 2011, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino stood on the shores of the Tappan Zee Bridge and urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “Enough is enough. Put the pencils down and let’s build a bridge.”

Now Cuomo’s administration appears miffed that Astorino may be the one slowing down progress on the bridge. Cuomo’s top aide, Larry Schwartz, said today on 1300-AM (WGDJ) in Albany that he doesn’t know what Astorino wants.

“I’m trying to understand what it is that he wants and what kind of commitment he’s looking for,” Schwartz said. “I’m trying to understand if he wants a commitment to spend another $5 billion, which we’re not going to do.”

Astorino has wanted a new bridge — as he strongly stated last year — but has since called for the bridge to have rapid transit, writing a letter to the Department of Transportation for it and saying in testimony in March that the bridge “does need some kind of mass transit component. Otherwise we are not building a bridge, we are building a scenic parking lot over the Hudson.”

Astorino, a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2014, and Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef have held up a vote by a regional transportation council for the new bridge until they said they get more answers about the scope of the project.

Astorino told Gannett’s Albany Bureau yesterday that he’s pleased with the bridge’s progress, applauds Cuomo’s effort and just simply wants his basic questions answered before he signs off.

Yes, he supports mass transit, but understands it needs to be done in stages, he said. And he’s pleased those stages are starting with bus lanes on the bridge, which Cuomo’s office recently announced.

Astorino said his position is being twisted around. He said he’s not standing in the way of the bridge.

“There are some people who are trying to make this a big controversy where one may not exist,” Astorino said. “We’re on the same page for most of the bridge. It’s just this one part that I feel very strongly that if we’re going to do it, let’s do it right and so I was happy to see the governor’s staff said publicly that they’ll start with dedicated bus lanes, which was one thing I was pushing for.”

Astorino is also taking exception to Cuomo’s estimates that it would cost $5 billion — the same cost as the bridge — to put in mass transit. He said it would be much less.

“We can do this in stages, but let’s make a commitment to do it and let’s do it, as opposed to let’s pretend we’re going to do it and never get it done, which is really the direction the state would be going in if we don’t make a commitment from day one,” Astorino said.


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  1. Please!Please!… Before ( anyone in The United States Offices of Public Trust ) anyone for example the Two Gentlemen mentioned ” one From LOCAL Level and The other From STATE Level of ” American Government on US SOIL OR THEIR POLITICAL FACTIONS halt in Playing Their Private Likes and Dislikes or The Political Affiliations UNTO OR UPON The Republic of General George Washington! It enough that “the make believe has blindfolded average New Yorkers to transparently see HOW ( no prejudice ) HOW ” these types of people climb the ladder of private success” and ” act like The Country is Their Daddy’s Estate” Please let The Free American Press PARTICULARLY OWNED AND OPERATED BY LOYAL TO THE SOIL.AMERICANS; not FOREIGNERS with Multiple Passports now with AMERICAN BRAND NAME age old PRESS! ask WHY AND HOW MANY BILLS UNDER THE CURRENT GOVERNOR’S ADMINISTRATION dealed BEHIND CLOSED DOORS? … .What are they exactly PRACTICING ” under the name of A Government! And, Constantly, and Constantly engaged in Self Interests! But! America cannot be made a GROUND OF DESSERT AND CAVE MANTALITY conflits and their Promotions! We cannot afford ” girls in high school.fighting over a Boyfriend” whose ” actual” interest is ” the same as of The So-Called People ( no prejudice) who Become Politically Engaged ” They have the same interest alone as the ” so-called boyfriend” has towards the girls!

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  2. notlaughinginwastechester on

    This has been around for a while, however, the thrust was always with some for of mass transit built in. The major contention being the tunnel.
    Now all of a sudden there is absolutely no mass transit, no tunnel, no train, and no brt. And the answer to why is, well, it will double the cost, which is when Astorino asks to see latest
    documents,why the hue and cry? Sounds a little like passing health care bill that wasn’t read.
    But then again we know of the history between Larry Schwartz and Rob Astorino, so I guess it makes sense to try to make Rob the heavy.
    To tell the truth, I, as a consumer, don’t understand how it is fiscally sound to build this bridge without a mass transit component of at least brt, and a plan to add in the future trains.
    I, would call it short sighted. And I am a taxpayer being asked to pay for it in my federal, state and toll taxes.
    Sign me
    Hope we’re not being taken for a RIDE

  3. Smartporpoise on

    If Schwartz truly wanted to know what specifically is on Astorino’s mind, he could personally pick up the damned phone and find out. Since that hasn’t happened (and isn’t about to happen,) it’s all rhetoric and self-serving press fodder. He incessantly plays politics and implies falsely through innuendo that Astorino is the profligate big-spending dilettante and the Guv is the sober accountant of erudition. Schwartz, who once was Andy Spano’s Thomas Cromwell is now Cuomo’s Machiavelli.

  4. just the facts on

    we have seen what happens when you build a bridge that doesn’t contemplate the future..
    the future comes all too soon and the bridge is no longer serviceable and in fact poses a risk
    to millions who cross it…..any bridge that is built must take into consideration the demand
    that will exist 25 years from now….and that means mass transit….the cost now….even if
    it is high will be far higher if once again the bridge has to be replaced due to inflation …the
    governor is being short sighted..and the county executive understands the word “planning”