Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday added another key endorsement to construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge: former Gov. George Pataki.
"I know first-hand the urgent need for a new and safer bridge to replace the deteriorating Tappan Zee,” Pataki, a Republican, said in a statement. “The current span is dangerous, congested and an impediment to economic growth in Westchester and Rockland counties. Simply repairing the bridge is not worth the continued investment and it is more cost effective to build a new, state-of-the-art bridge. A new bridge will not only be more secure and reduce traffic congestion, but will also create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers in the Hudson Valley.”
Pataki also spoke of replacing the aging span in 1999, when he was governor.
Pataki’s backing comes after Cuomo announced similar support from just about every Tom, Dick and political Larry from two sides of the Hudson River – except a few who have key votes on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.
The push started over the weekend with three former county executives in Westchester -- Al DelBello, Andrew O’Rourke and Andy Spano – throwing their support behind the governor and project. It came soon after reports of the toll going up to $14 a round-trip -- a near tripling from the current cost. (Read more about that here.)
In recent days county legislators, mayors, and state lawmakers from Rockland and Westchester have come out in support for the new bridge.
So the intriguing question is who is next?
Pictured above: A view of the Tappan Zee Bridge from the Westchester River Walk in Tarrytown. (Aug 2, 2012)