Comptroller’s office OKs Tappan Zee bonds, warns about transparency

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The state Comptroller’s Office formally approved the sale of bonds to pay for initial project costs for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge, but urged the Thruway Authority to come clean about how it will pay for the rest of it and what impact it will have on tolls.

In a letter approving the $500 million bond sale, First Deputy Comptroller Alexander “Pete” Grannis said the authority has “a duty to provide full, timely and public disclosure regarding its capital plan, including costs associated with the (Tappan Zee) Project.”

“The Authority must be forthright with the public on the overall impact these costs may have on tolls that Thruway customers will shoulder — not only for use of the new bridge but for the totality of the Thruway system,” Grannis wrote.

The Thruway board approved the sale of short-term bonds in late January to start funding the $3.9 million bridge project. The authority is still waiting to hear back from the federal government on a loan under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which if approved could finance about $2 billion of the project’s costs.

In his letter, Grannis wrote that there “continues to be uncertainty surrounding the final outcome and timing of the (TIFIA) decision, which is critical to determining the financing plan of the Project as well as the Authority’s capital program.”

Grannis’ full letter can be read below:

TWY BondsLetter by

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