A Plus B Might Equal C


Math and I get along well on an as-needed basis – balancing my checkbook, paying monthly bills within a limited budget and income, etc.  In my previous post, I said I shop with a dollar amount in mind and try to find something within that amount.  There are times, though, when I do use my credit card – for example, car repairs, or a new digital camera – and pay the balance during the ensuing months.

Let’s apply this to the bridge replacement project:  $3.9 billion minus around $1.5 billion . . . wait a minute.  My math teacher never taught “A plus almost B equals C” in class.  We learned known amounts.  New York State could, and did, apply for up to 49% of the project’s eligible costs, potentially up to $2 billion.

How much money is around $1.5 billion?  Is it that an exact amount, more or less?

The state’s TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan application is undergoing a creditworthiness review by an independent financial advisor hired by the US Department of Transportation.

Project cost shares eligible for TIFIA coverage were previously limited to 33%, according to Federal Highway Administration spokeswoman Nancy Singer.  If the bridge replacement project is being advanced through the review process based on that percentage, then 33% of $3.9 billion is $1.287 billion.

The state needs to find alternate sources of revenue (translated:  new money) to pay for this bridge.  I’ve attended the past three Mass Transit Task Force meetings (open to the public) and have heard nothing about commercial vehicles using the bridge.  Per the Thruway Fact Book:

In Westchester County, the Thruway connects the Connecticut Turnpike at the terminus of its New England Section (I-95) in Port Chester.  In Rockland County, Interstate 287 near Suffern connects with major highways in New Jersey, including the Garden State Parkway at the New Jersey-New York line in Chestnut Ridge (although no trucks are allowed on the GSP in NJ).

Thank you, Governor Andrew Cuomo, for suggesting that residents of these two counties, whether or not they commute daily, receive fare discounts.  While the 45% toll hike for trucks won’t happen on the 570-mile Thruway, I feel commercial vehicles deserve to pay more – at least on the new bridge.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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