The three county executives on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council announced on Thursday their intention to vote yes at the next session to include the new Tappan Zee Bridge project in the region’s long-range plan.
A unanimous vote qualifies the project for federal funds.
Westchester Executive Robert Astorino, Rockland Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Putnam Executive Mary Ellen Odell committed to signing off on the plan. Astorino said that decision was reached after talks with Governor Cuomo.
“We’re doing that because of our discussions with the governor over the last month has given us reasonable assurance that we are going to start looking at, in a real way, mass transit options, and that we are going to start looking at reducing the tolls from what they are projected to be to a lower number at least for our own residents on a discount program,” Astorino said.
Odell said the bridge project is going to provide “a jolt to the economic vitality of the region” in terms of construction and engineering jobs and increased commerce for the region.
Business leaders throughout the region praised the announcement by the county executives, saying it will move the project forward.