By ALLISON DUNNE
A New York State Senator is urging his colleagues in the legislature to pass a bill that he says could help finance part of the construction of the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge.
Republican Senator Greg Ball, knowing that more funding is needed to build a replacement Tappan Zee Bridge, says he wants legislators to pass a public-private partnership, or P3, bill.
As for other financing, the New York State Comptroller recently approved a bond sale by the state Thruway Authority to jumpstart construction of the new $3.14 billion bridge – the issuance of $500 million in short-term bonds. The approval, though, came with the comptroller saying that the authority needs to put forth a financing plan as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the authority is awaiting a $1.5 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
As for the public-private partnership bill, the Thruway Authority will review it, a spokesperson says. A spokesman for Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli declined to comment.
Ball, whose district include portions of Westchester close to the Tappan Zee, says officials have acknowledged that the state will be awarded less funding than is needed to build the replacement span, which will connect Rockland and Westchester Counties.
“Transit ready” refers to the bridge being constructed to accommodate mass transit from the outset.
State Senator David Carlucci, an Independent Democrat whose district includes Rockland County, declined to comment. Democratic State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, who represents portions of Rockland, including where the Rockland side of the Tappan Zee would be built, would say only this in reference to Senator Ball’s pushing a private-partnership bill.
A source familiar with the project, who is not authorized to speak publicly, says it is too late for P3s to impact the financing.
In January, the state comptroller and attorney general approved the bridge contract between the Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors, a 66-month contract that was effective immediately. (AUDIO)