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Bill would name Tappan Zee bridge for Mario Cuomo, source says

A span on the new Tappan Zee Bridge

A span on the new Tappan Zee Bridge is in foreground, while the original bridge is in the back on Dec. 20, 2016. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

ALBANY — The new Tappan Zee Bridge now under construction would be named for former Gov. Mario Cuomo under a bill to be released late Wednesday, that Republicans introduced at the request of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the late governor’s son.

The 3-mile-long bridge spanning the Hudson River between Westchester and Rockland counties is being replaced for about $3.9 billion in one of Cuomo’s top-priority efforts since 2011. Naming the bridge for his father, who was the state’s chief executive from 1983 to 1994, has been rumored for months and was suggested Monday in a closed-door breakfast meeting of legislators and Cuomo at the governor’s mansion.

Mario Cuomo died Jan. 1, 2015.

The Republican-led Senate had already passed a bill to name the bridge for Purple Heart recipients, but that bill hasn’t moved to the floor of the Democratic-led Assembly. Other names lawmakers have considered include former president and New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who lived near the bridge.

Mario Cuomo grew up in Queens and was defeated in a historic upset in 1994 by Republican George Pataki, who had represented the Westchester-Rockland area in the Assembly.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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