The largest infrastructure project in the nation – the new Tappan Zee Bridge – should have been a triumph. The bridge was built without a funding plan and without consideration for mass transit. This shortsightedness is a missed opportunity and risks crippling toll increases. Though it would have been natural for such a project to receive federal funding, we didn’t receive a single dollar in Federal grants. This is unacceptable and can still be fixed. Additionally, the bridge’s recent renaming under the cover of darkness erased history and ignored the desire of the residents who actually use the bridge.
that the bridge is a reality, we must fight to protect residents from having to
pay for the lack of federal funding and a funding plan. Tolls must not be raised
to absurd heights like $15, which would crush residents in the district who
count on the bridge for their daily commutes.
The Federal government must financially support a regional asset on a
key transport route. Its costs cannot be borne by locals. Further, the state must
exempt Rockland and Westchester residents from any future toll increase,
period. The federal government should also facilitate the incorporation of a
must-needed second rail crossing as part of a continuation of this project.
This can include mass transportation, connecting cities in Rockland county to
existing lines on the Metro-north in Westchester.