MONTGOMERY - The federal government is reportedly working on granting New York State a loan to help build the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the bridge was Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top priority before Sandy, and that it still remains high on the priority list.

The Cuomo administration is asking for about half of the $5.9 billion needed for the span in a low-interest loan through the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act. The rest would come from bonds sold by the New York State Thruway Authority.

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Officials have not publicly said what their alternative is if the loan is not approved. Cuomo has pledged to build the new span with or without the assistance.

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