Top Secret: The Five Ws — And How!

Can it be? Two years ago I wrote, “Westchester and Rockland County residents won’t be held hostage to inflated fares on the new Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing.”

Tappan-Zee-Bridge-toll-plaza

Double entendre, the header.

I learned the five W questions — who, when, where, what and why — plus “How?” The phrase “and how” means very much so, a strong confirmation. “And how” in header confirms the five Ws and asks “How?”

Back to the questions. Who knows the bottom line about fare hikes? When‘s it going to take effect? Where will it be applied? What is the reason for it? Why are we told different answers each time we ask?

Lots of unknowns about the toll hike. It’s a reality. When is anybody’s guess. We can figure out where and the reason, too.

Miracles happen. I believe in them. Days before we got the $1.6 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, Standard & Poor’s downgraded the Thruway Authority’s long-term bond rating from A+ to A due to concern about potential toll increases.

TIFIA funds are usually limited to 33 percent of total project costs. Who said the New NY Bridge is a usual project?

Our asked-for amount was approved plus another $500 million to boot. Miracle right there. Fast-forward to the EPA’s recent decision. Now comes the appeal.

* * * * *

The first span will open 18 months from now in March/April 2016, and both spans will be raring to go in March/April 2018. I heard Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) will shell out plenty if the Thruway Authority doesn’t have keys in hand by the 2018 opening date.

Eighteen months until we drive across one new span.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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