Thruway Director: Private Financing for Tappan Zee Not a Done Deal

In his confirmation hearings, Thruway Authority Executive Director Tom Madison noted that the financial plan for the Tappan Zee Bridge isn't complete yet.

While predicting that work on the new Tappan Zee Bridge could start as early as this summer, incoming Thruway Authority executive director Tom Madison revealed at confirmation hearings yesterday that financing for the new bridge is still very much a work in progress.

“At this moment, as we sit here, the complete financial plan has not been developed for the Tappan Zee Bridge,” said Madison.

One major complication is whether “alternative financing,” such as using union pension funds rather than traditional bonding, will be on the table for the Tappan Zee. Under current law, the state can’t engage in that type of arrangement.

“At this moment in time, we don’t have the legal statutory allowance in New York state to do public-private partnership as they are technically defined in transportation projects,” said Madison, as quoted by the Politics on the Hudson blog. “So right now, the plan is that the Tappan Zee Bridge will be a publicly financed project.”

However, in his State of the State address last week, Governor Cuomo reiterated his goal to finance the Tappan Zee with private sector investment. So it looks like the legislature will be called on to change the law, setting up a vote that could enable private financing for the project some time in the first half of this year.

  • HamTech87

    I can already here the Governor doing his best Homer Simpson impression… “doh!”

  • Kb10211

    If someone creates a new petition on change.org soliciting signatures for a public transit option on the tappan zee, I’ll sign it (and a bunch of others).

  • Matt

    One of the publicly vetted alternatives was a train/bicycle bridge separate from a new car bridge.  Why not build that now.  That will relieve congestion from the existing car bridge and extend its life.  Once built, if there’s money, build a new car bridge!

  • Potato

    kb10211: Bravo, do almost nothing.

    If you want to have your voice heard by elected officials, you have to make the slightest effort: call their office and say that you want transit.

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