Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today the state isn’t withholding details about what the tolls will be on the new Tappan Zee Bridge until after Election Day. He said they simply don’t know what the tolls will be.
Cuomo, speaking after the Super Crane arrived to help construct the $3.9 billion bridge over the Hudson River, said the state still doesn’t have key details about the bridge’s final cost.
He said the state doesn’t know exactly the final tab since construction will go until 2018. Plus, the state is trying to secure state and federal grants to fund the massive project between Westchester and Rockland counties that could blunt some of the hit to tollpayers.
“You need to know how much the bridge is going to cost before you know what the tolls are going to cost,” Cuomo said, adding he wants the cost to commuters to be as low as possible.
Cuomo said it has nothing to do with his re-election bid. Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has blasted Cuomo for not being more forthcoming about the tolls and the bridge’s financial plan in advance of Election Day, Nov. 4.
“It’s going to be well after the election. This has nothing to do with next month. We won’t have the information for months and months and months,” Cuomo said. “Remember, this isn’t a bridge that isn’t finished until 2018.”
The bridge will likely also end up with some of $4 billion in bank settlements the state is getting this year.
In a statement today, Cuomo said the state plans to create an infrastructure bank, hinting that it could be funded in part with the bank settlement money.
“Seeded with potential revenue sources such as bank settlements or other one-time cash infusions, the Infrastructure Bank will be a new financing and project management vehicle empowered to deploy alternative project delivery methods and leverage private investment to deliver large-scale, complex, strategic infrastructure projects vital to the state’s future success,” Cuomo said in the statement.