Watch CBS News

County Executives Endorse New Tappan Zee Bridge

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River got a big boost today.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Story


Commitments to dedicated bus lanes and task forces to study tolls and transit options will not silence critics, but on Thursday, Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell all endorsed Cuomo's plan.

This show of support comes at a key point as New York State is ready to choose a design build team for this project, and the county executives sit on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, whose approval is vital.

MaryEllen Odell Rob Astorino Scott Vanderhoef
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, and Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef stand in Sleepy Hollow with the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background - Aug 16, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Just last April, the executives had complained they felt they were being asked to support the project without all the information they needed.

"What about the issue of mass transportation? What about the environmental issues? What's gonna happen with the tolls?" Vanderhoef had sad.

"The response from Albany of 'Trust us.' doesn't really work with us," Astorino had said.

They've never been against replacing the span, but like many on the outside looking in, they've had questions about the pace of this project and an overall vagueness when it comes to the fine details.

Today, Astorino said he sees hope in another look at transit options and the feasibility of perhaps a scaled-down system over a new span.

1010 WINS' Al Jones reports


"But taking a reasonable approach where it's the most heavily populated and where people are really going, you know, Palisades [Center] and Tarrytown and White Plains. How can we work with the existing infrastructure that we already have and see if it can get done," he told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

"If we can't afford it today, we don't want it to slip through our fingers. So, having a task force to review within one year what the short-term and long-term BRT options are," Vanderhoef said Thursday.

Do you have something to say about the project? Sound off in the comments section below.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.