Governor Cuomo's Tappan Zee Bridge to Nowhere

New Yorkers do not take kindly to rejections. It's simply not in our street lexicon so our comprehension when we are deal with one is illogical, frustrated and persistently disobedient. Just watch anyone's reaction after a cabbie says no to taking them from the Village to Astoria at 2am.

As Governor of the Don't-Tell-Me-What-To-Do state, Andrew Cuomo must embody these emotions and somehow manage Albany, all the same time. But, a recent construction controversy and an expensive federal "No" has put his attitude to the test. 

And it's all because of a bridge over the Hudson.

On April 26th, Obama's Department of Transportation denied a $2 billion loan request to rebuild the Tappan Zee - a project that would cost a total of $5.2 billion - and the Governor is not happy about it.

Just a little above the realm of the Bronx, the old, gray expanse known connects the counties of Rockland and Westchester. It is a drab piece of steel, 16,000 feet long and 90 feet wide, and was opened for business in 1955. Quick history lesson: "Tappan" is the name of a Native American tribe from the area and "Zee" is Dutch (the first Europeans in Manhattan) for sea. You learn something new everyday.

With that being said, Cuomo is up in arms on how he's going to get this project started. On CBS's radio station this morning, he suggested some other options, which include public-private investments and (as an outlier in the New York state of mind) patience. The latter simply consists of waiting until the DOT reviews the loan request again. Even though that takes a while, Cuomo accepts the fact that he's not running on New York minutes here: "I believe that it will happen, just not as quickly as we'd like."

Officials from his administration have stated that announcements revolving around the project's future will be made in coming weeks. But, although no specific plan has been released yet, Cuomo doesn't seem like he's going to take "No" for an answer. "We've been talking about it for 20 years," he said, "We have to replace this bridge and we will get it done one way or the other." 

Spoken like a true New Yorker.


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Bridget is a broad coalition of major employers, transportation professionals, civil engineers, and labor organizations representing more than 300,000 employees and more than 15,000 employers. Together, we are calling for replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge this year with a new Hudson River crossing.  We applaud Governor Cuomo's efforts on this initiative.

Jeffrey Anzevino
Jeffrey Anzevino

The feds rejecting NY's application may be a blessing in disguise as it gives the project sponsors the opportunity to improve the project with a transit component. 


Oh sure we've been talking about it for 20 years, but the Gov went and changed everything that was talked about for the last 19 years and made it is own boondoggle instead of one that would (a) improve the region, (b) be well received to by local constituents, or (c) match the funding requirements of a sustainably focused USDOT. He ruined this project all by himself.

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