Talk of new Tappan Zee Bridge topic at forum
As Congresswoman Nan Hayworth continues her quest for re-election, she hosts a forum to hear what local leaders want changed. Hayworth is vying for the 19th District along with four other candidates. Our Elaina Athans has more on the meeting.
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GOSHEN -- Talk of a new Tappan Zee Bridge and its design plan dominated a gathering. Orange County Executive Ed Diana says actions needs to take place now before its too late.
"The Tappan Zee for our commuters is critical," said Diana.
Diana calls current plans for a new Tappan Zee bridge foolish. He asked Congresswoman Nan Hayworth to put pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo to include mass transit in the bridge design.
"People are tending to use more mass transit and certainly as gas prices go up, you'll see the use of mass transit really exploding because of it," said Diana.
Diana says not only will it help with transportation needs in Orange County's commuter community, but it will also help the economy by creating jobs. Diana wants a bridge that could be retrofitted down the line.
“We are actively engaged with the governor’s office so that we can again, all work together to get the best job done," said Congresswoman Nan Hayworth.
Cuomo says getting that kind of construction job done will cost significantly more money. A new bridge, without the mass transit element, is expected to cost $5.2 billion. Adding buses lanes and railroad tracks would up the price tag.
"Yes, it's more money. But I think the value into the future, you gotta look you have to have vision. We have to look now only today, tomorrow and 10 year from now -- but 20, 30 50 years from now," said Diana.
There are currently three plans being reviewed to fund a new bridge. Then state recently applied for a federal loan to cover of the costs.