Updated 08/20/2012 05:30 PM
NYMTC approves Tappan Zee Bridge project
One of the largest public works projects in New York's last half century gets the go-ahead. At a meeting in New York City, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council unanimously approved a proposal to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. But the big question remains: Who will pay for the multi-billion dollar project? YNN's Beth Croughan reports.
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NEW YORK -- "I'm an optimist, they're going to say yes. They're going to say yes, they're going to say yes," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.
That was Governor Cuomo's response when asked what if the federal government says no to a request for money to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Monday, he signed a formal letter asking for a multi-billion dollar loan. This, after the NY Metropolitan Transportation Council voted in support of the structure.
"All those years of delay are a thing of the past. We've made more progress in the past few months than we made in 13 years and that's the truth," he said.
The vote, originally scheduled for September, comes more than a decade after Cuomo says discussions first started and a few days after the Rockland, Putnam and Westchester County Executives backed the bridge project.
"I was adamant that we were not prepared, I certainly wasn't prepared to move forward with this unless we had some reasonable assurances," said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says an agreement was made to create a task force to study mass transit and to include dedicated bus lanes.
"We didn't want to delay the bridge but we also wanted to make sure this bridge is positioned for the future, to make sure that generations to come have a bridge that's going to be useful. That we have transit options from the beginning and not going to be stuck in traffic as we are today," Astorino said.
Moving forward, Governor Cuomo says they're working to determine the exact cost of construction and how to keep tolls down.
"This is the greatest state in the nation. We are great builders, we're great developers. We have to build a new bridge, we will build a new bridge," said Cuomo