WHITE PLAINS - The New York State Thruway Authority Board yesterday approved issuing short-term bonds of $500 million to jump-start construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

That money will have to be paid back, and the state is hoping a federal loan will help it do that. The federal money would pay a major share of the span's $3 billion price tag.

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In the meantime, the financial infusion from the bonds will cover initial project costs during the next six months.

The board also voted to allow the state to start testing all-electronic tolls at some existing toll barriers in the Hudson Valley, clearing the way for the new Tappan Zee Bridge to be cashless if the testing is a success.