Updated 08/22/2012 06:44 AM
New bridge project moves forward, focus now on finances
After a key vote to move the project forward passed on Monday, the state is one step closer to building a "new" Tappan Zee Bridge. Christian Farrell tells us about the next hurdles left to complete this massive project.
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ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- It's come down to money, money, money. The new Tappan Zee Bridge project continues to clear each and every obstacle it faces, leaving financing as the final piece of this prodigious project.
"Financing is one of the many legs of a stool that will make a project like this happen," said New York State Deputy Secretary of Transportation Karen Rae.
Rae is a top advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo on the bridge project. A project that, on Monday, got unanimous approval from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.
Tuesday, Rae was a featured speaker at community meeting in the Town of Ramapo.
One thing she tried to explain is how the state can get its hands on some much needed federal money, perhaps a couple billion dollars to help fund the $5 billion project.
"It'll be an iterative process. And the actual application, we've been told we can submit whenever we're ready to do that. We're in the process of finalizing that. We believe it will be very soon," said Rae.
Federal funds though aren't the only dollars and cents issue. Projected toll prices to cross a new bridge are a huge concern according to Town of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence.
"I know this team is looking at ways to utilize the E-Zpass and electronic system so that people in Westchester and Rockland counties would be able to take advantage of that as they do in Staten Island with the Verrazano Bridge where the people of Staten Island get a discount. So, we want a commuter discount, but we want a business and a resident discount," said St. Lawrence.
A task force is expected to be formed this fall according to state officials with the specific purpose of finding ways to make crossing the bridge as inexpensive as possible.