The Cuomo administration rolled out three former Westchester County executives to support construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge and downplay the talk of a $14 toll.
Secretary to the Governor, Lawrence Schwartz, opened the dialogue on Sunday by saying there are three options, but only one choice, and that is to tear down the current bridge and build a new one. That will mean higher tolls, but he emphasized that would not happen overnight.
“We’re talking about in five years. We’re not talking about five minutes from now, five hours from now, five days, five weeks or five months; we’re talking about five years when this new bridge opens,” Schwartz said.
The three former county executives, Alfred Del Bello, Andrew O’Rourke and Andrew Spano, all announced their support for a new bridge and the fact that a higher toll will be needed to help pay for it.
Del Bello also downplayed the almost tripling of the current $5 toll.
“The issue of these tolls is obviously five years down the road, very dependent on the financing plan that ultimately takes place and rather than letting the argument be dominated by the specter of what might be tolls five years from now, we ought to focus solely on the issue of replacing the bridge,” Del Bello said.
All three former executives praised the governor for fast-tracking the project. Also endorsing it was current State Senator David Carlucci (D-Nanuet), who said the state must move it forward now.