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Cuomo insists new Tappan Zee Bridge hasn't been delayed
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo didn't particularly agree with a reporter's characterization of negotiations between the state and federal transportation officials over a loan that will help pay for the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“Who said it’s delayed?” Cuomo said when Newsday reporter Meghan Murphy asked the governor during a Tuesday stop in Nanuet about the state's request for a nearly $2 billion federal loan to build a dual-span replacement for the Tappan Zee.
The governor's irritation is understandable.
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In 2012, his administration was saying that construction on the $3.9 billion bridge could begin in December 2012. That timetable was revised to later in 2013.
The state is still waiting to find out whether it has been approved for one of the low-interest loans that the feds hand out to states and cities looking to repair aging bridges and tunnels.
New York has plenty of company. In all, there are 28 projects from across the nation vying for a portion of the $17 billion in federal funds available.
The state's loan request didn't make it onto Tuesday agenda for the U.S. Department of Transportation panel that considers loan applications. There has been no word on whether it will be on March's agenda.
Cuomo assured reporters not to read too much into the -- dare we say it -- delay out of Washington.
"We haven't heard from them yet,” Cuomo said. “We haven't heard any bad news, either. We're crossing our fingers."
And the governor took a moment to remind reporters that the bridge’s estimated cost came in some $1 billion less than many expected, meaning a savings for bridge users once a new toll is decided.
"The Tappan Zee is a remarkable story thus far about what government can do,” he said. “We've made remarkable progress in a year."