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DiNapoli Approves Bridge Contract, Wonders How to Pay for Project

Contract approval does not include approval of financial plan, toll increase or debt insurance.

Plans for a new Tappan Zee Bridge, the state's single largest infrastructure project, moved forward Jan. 18 when the State Comptroller and Attorney General approved a contract for the design and building of the structure. 

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman approved a $3.142 billion contract with Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC), a consortium that includes Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast, and Traylor Bros.

“The final approval on this contract is another milestone for the new bridge project that is now ready to break ground this year,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “After a decade of delay, we now have a final approved bid that will give the Hudson Valley a new bridge with the best price, the shortest construction time, require the least amount of dredging and be a foundation for future mass transit. The transformation of this bridge project represents what state government can accomplish in the new New York.”

Still to be approved are a financial plan, toll increase, and debt insurance. 

“Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge is New York state’s largest single infrastructure project and is vital to our economic prosperity,” DiNapoli said. “To protect taxpayers, my office will closely scrutinize the Thruway’s oversight of the construction of the new bridge. The Thruway Authority is responsible for proposing a financing plan and must live up to its commitment to pursue the lowest cost options and ensure that its customers are paying the lowest possible tolls. Every effort must be taken to minimize costs for this project and protect the long-term fiscal health of the Thruway system.”

TZC said they are pleased to be moving ahead. The group won the bid after coming in 20 percent lower than the other two competitive bids for the project. The plan is based on a five-to-six-year time line. As Patch has reported, construction is expected to begin as soon as spring. 

The new bridge will have eight lanes, emergency lanes and extra-wide shoulders for express bus service. There will be a bicycle and pedestrian path, and at least three highway speed E-ZPass lanes. 

New York State Thruway Board of Directors Chairman Howard P. Milstein called the project, "vital to the long-term economic well-being of the lower Hudson Valley and the entire region."

After the approval was announced, DiNapoli said to CBS News, “The big question is still out there — how do we pay for it?” 

AC for Prez January 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Concern of corruption risking the cost and safety of the bridge construction might be addressed by the petition in link below to reform corruption in the legal system: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/establish-commission-executive-order-investigate-widespread-corruption-and-about-us-legal-system/ypCjjRWK NYS corruption is featured in the following news links: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/27/nyregion/27courts.html http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/nyregion/25courts.html http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/26/nyregion/26courts.html Recent RICO arrest of unlicensed business owners in NY may help prevent unlicensed contractors from working on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
robert smith January 20, 2013 at 10:54 PM
well don't build it. send the money and jobs to the red states. Forget about the mom and pop stores that would benefit and the jobs and taxes that it would produce
Robert Solari January 21, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Let's get this party started
Deana January 21, 2013 at 01:39 PM
you can take $57 Million from the Westchester Tower project from DOT.
Michele January 21, 2013 at 08:40 PM
We really need a new bridge and I hope it goes smoothly. Let's see how many jobs this produces for unions so they can take advantage of the opportunity, and how much more it will cost, and how much longer it will take, and how much materials will be missing, and how much corruption will be involved. I hope DiNapoli's office really watches costs very very closely.
'nough said January 22, 2013 at 01:10 AM
why do the jobs need to go to unions...sorry i think that is one of the problems with our country today. if there is a reputable company that bids on any phase of this project and wins they should be able to work without the rebuttal of the unions. what happened to the rights of those that do not work for unions?????? its bullying at its finest sometimes...and i know thats going to tick a lot of you off but really...what gives you the right to demand that only union workers are hired?
Aidan January 22, 2013 at 01:24 AM
'nough said, in this world where "fairness" is the new mantra, remember that it is only selectively applied. The unions will dominate this new construction ... and will go over budget and over deadline. No one in state government is going to give non-union firms a chance to show their professionalism or efficiency ... because that would highlight union sloth and greed. And in NY, that's mortal sin stuff.
Teleman January 22, 2013 at 01:41 AM
The prevailing wage laws in NY are ridiculous- these projects will be massivley over-budget due to the unions being jammed into them
Pat Godfrey January 22, 2013 at 03:32 AM
When DiNapoli says to CBS news "the question is still out there, how are we going to pay for this?" That tells you all you need to know. When this project was sold to Rockland residents their was not even a mention of the fact that we don't have the money to pay for it. So how are they going to pay for it? Raising taxes and raising tolls. Who will get the highest tax raises? Rockland residents. The politicians will say it is only right since Rockland will get most of the benefit from it. Out of 300,000 people in Rockland what percentage you think uses the bridge? Yet all of Rockland will have to pay for it. We are #1 or #2 as far as highest taxes state in the country. Well now we are going be #1 by a wide margin with this kind of spending going on with no funds to pay for it. We are already over budget and borrowing to pay existing costs. So the genious Mario Coumo and the democrat party say hey lets spend some more money we don't have. Let's take on the biggest public works project since the Brooklyn Bridge. Yeah this is the perfect time for it. We will pay our union friends big contracts and they will give us a percentage of the money back in the form of campaign contributions. We'll both win and the only one who gets screwed hear is the taxpayer. That's a good deal.
John Gruber January 22, 2013 at 05:10 PM
This basically sums up the American mentality: Buy now, worry about paying later... And lo and behold we're 16 trillion in debt
Walt January 22, 2013 at 05:28 PM
$16.5 but whose counting? $6.5 in the last 4 years alone with no absolutely plan to stop the slide. The American mentality has become one of entitlements, bloated bureaucracy along and out of control spending to keep the shell game going. Government has become the ruling class and we serve it and you ain't seen nothing yet!
joe January 24, 2013 at 09:43 PM
This insane governtment of ours take advantage of our inability to conceptualize the difference between a million this or a billion that. Let me visualize it for you: 1 million seconds ago it was January 13th. 1 Billion seconds ago it was 1981. Get it? Trillion? You don't want to know, that's why we have the elected officials we have today--because you dont want to know.
joe January 24, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Well said Aidan! And who sucks up to the unions?....Who?...Say it!!
Aidan January 25, 2013 at 02:09 PM
The headline is so New York: "DiNapoli Approves Bridge Contract, Wonders How to Pay for Project". How ridiculous.

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