The organization, which has several trade groups working on the project, said the loan will help keep the cost of tolls down on the new bridge. Several environmental groups opposed the use of a state-run clean water fund to pay for the loan.
"Anyone who says they are against these EFC loans are fooling themselves and short-changing the public," the trade group said in a statement. "Let’s do the math: higher environmental protection costs means higher tolls on the new bridge. Lower loan financing costs means lower tolls on the new bridge."
Below is the full statement from the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.:
“The Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc., and its many aligned trade organizations fully endorse the loan program that the Environmental Facilities Corporation is making possible. These no-interest and low-interest loans will make the final toll fare to motorists that much lower.
"At this time, access to half billion dollars in low and no-cost money to help finance the construction of the new Tappan Zee bridge is extremely significant. In the short run, low-cost money means more dollars will stay in the pockets of commuters, motorists and commercial truckers – money that will circulate with business and consumer spending to help boost the local and regional economy.
"Longer term, borrowing from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund translates to great assurances that the bridge construction project is aligned with environmental standards, including those outlined in the New York-New Jersey Estuary’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan.
"The math is very simple: lower costs to finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge mean lower tolls.
"The New NY Bridge project is already putting people back to work and having a positive impact on the Hudson Valley economy. These loans will help keep this historic project moving forward. Equally important over the long run, the monies will help to protect the environment.
"Anyone who says they are against these EFC loans are fooling themselves and short-changing the public. Let’s do the math: higher environmental protection costs means higher tolls on the new bridge. Lower loan financing costs means lower tolls on the new bridge.
"We at CIC applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his team’s use of innovative financing from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to support the environmental conservation expenses of this vitally needed new bridge."