Assemblyman Tom Abinanti Opposes $511M Clean Water Fund Loan for Bridge; NYSTA Responds

Tappan Zee Bridge/Courtesy of Severin St. Martin

Tappan Zee Bridge/Courtesy of Severin St. Martin

State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (92nd AD) — who represents the eastern shore of the Hudson River extending north and south of the Tappan Zee Bridge — issued a statement this afternoon re Governor Andrew Cuomo’s using $511 million from the Clean Water Fund to partially pay for the new bridge.

Abinanti said the proposed use will lessen monies available for appropriate use, is counterintuitive and will harm, instead of help, the river, and will create a hidden taxpayer subsidy for the cost of construction.

Costs for preventing or mitigating harm to the river due to bridge construction “should be paid for by Thruway Authority users and included in an appropriate financing package for the bridge construction,” he said, adding the state should be held to the same standard as private developers are responsible for environmental impacts.

He said the interest-free loan “masks the true cost of the project,” and said it transfers cost of bridge construction from Thruway system users to taxpayers “by using interest free an environmental fund that is subsidized by the taxpayers.”

“If Assemblyman Abinanti is against the Environmental Facilities Corp. loans and the many important environmental protection measures they will support on the New NY Bridge project, then he must also be in favor of higher tolls on the new bridge,” NYSTA Director of Media Relations and Communications Dan Weiller responded.

Emphasizing the new bridge’s safety for drivers, and the inclusion of a shared use path, Weiller said it “will support economic activity throughout the lower Hudson Valley and beyond,” adding Abinanti’s opposition is “hard to understand” when it comes to potentially higher tolls.

Abinanti said the Thruway Authority indicates its inability to justify taking the money, thus it cited tolls, and its lacks of plans to pay for the new bridge “so they will borrow money from anywhere, no matter how inappropriate.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

1 comment so far

  1. Diane Molinari on

    This bridge needs to be completed for the safety of the people that depend on it daily to go to work . Would the assemblyman rather all these employed people were traveling dangerously or out of work ?

    Liked by 1 person

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