Westchester Senator Cries Foul On $14 Toll For Tappan Zee Bridge

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Costs associated with construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge could create tolls in excess of $14. Photo Credit: Flickr

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- New York State Senator Greg Ball (R - Patterson) announced a bipartisan public-private partnership bill in an effort to keep tolls down on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. 

New York State recently learned that the federal loans requested will only cover roughly 33 percent of the bridge's cost as opposed to the 49 percent that was requested a year ago.  The result would be tolls approaching $14 or more. 

"Over $14 is too high," Ball said in a statement. "Simply raising the toll is not a sustainable solution. We can’t continue to pass the tab onto those that cross the bridge and the tax payers. New York is the capitol of capital and we must unlock the private sector to fund and maintain this vital infrastructure project.”

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D- Kenmore), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, has joined ball in creating the new legislation. 

“This forward-thinking legislation creates a framework that will allow for and encourage investment in the state by private companies in order to advance the development and operation of public infrastructure,” Schimminger said in a statement. “This would be extremely helpful to efforts aimed at boosting Upstate New York’s economy.”

The public-private partnership legislation will help transfer the risks associated with building, financing, operating and maintaining public infrastructure projects from the taxpayers to the private sector. One of the key benefits is that private partners are responsible for project cost overruns eliminating the government's risk going back to taxpayers for additional funds.

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Comments (7)

aleugene:

And yet, thesestructures still rot. How many pockets do these tolls fill?

Fifth Ave Guy:

Why doesn't he champion the tolls on the Triboro, the Whitestone or Thogs Neck too?

They're already $15 so the $14 for the Tappan Zee doesn't really seem so bad.

We all appreciate the effort though because none of our other state officials like Amy Paulin, Steve Otis, Andrea Stewart-Cousing or George Latimer seem to care about the high cost of doing everything in NY. For them its all about big governemnt & how much the state spends.

Latimer even came out recently & wants to bury your $350 refund checks into your tax return. How's that going to increase spending or put more money in your pocket?

Chris P.:

$14 to cross the TZ bridge? I used to like to go to Nyack once in awhile, eat lunch etc. There's no way I would casually pay $14 just to cross the bridge to do that. No way.

Cgirlny:

If companies pay most of the taxes, rest assured there will be some way for them to recoupe the cost...as an expense deduction perhaps? :-) I didn't write the tax code, but there has to be something in it for them.

alexander.saunders.376:

THE TAPPAN TUNNEL HAS BEEN BUILT 4 TIMES IN CHINA. THE ORIGINAL DRAWINGS MADE FOR THE TAPPAN ZEE IN 2003 WERE BUILT BETWEEN 2005 - 2008 IN 22 MONTHS FOR $800 MILLION. THE TWIN DOUBLE-DECKED TUBES CONTAINED 8 TRAFFIC LANES ABOVE AND 4 RAIL LINES BELOW. CSX COULD BUILD THIS OUT OF NORMAL OPERATING FUNDS -- PERHAPS THE TOLLS COULD EVEN BE ELIMINATED. BUT CSX WAS NEVER INVITED TO JOIN THE "HIGHWAY PROJECT." SURPRISINGLY $800 MILLION WAS ALSO THE COST OF THE CURRENT TZB IN CURRENT DOLLARS. PERHAPS SENATOR BALL SHOULD NOT ONLY ASK FOR PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FUNDING, BUT ALSO INVESTIGATE WHY WE ARE BEING ASKED TO ACCEPT A PROJECT WITHOUT RAIL COSTING 5 TIMES THE REAL COST OF THE PRESENT BRIDGE, OR THE WORLD COST OF SIMILAR TUNNELS EVERYWHERE.

Truth:

Ball is right on this issue, perhaps sell the naming rights to the bridge....the YAHOO bridge ...or maybe the Coca Cola Bridge ...I'm sure the companies will be delighted as thousands of people sit in traffic cursing out the new bridge.... and ask the Gov if the expense of erecting those "text stop" signs at rest areas are really needed...the use of common sense might come into play, then again those that text and drive lack that, and I doubt they will adhere to the sign

bill10526:

As a daily user of RT. 9, I appreciate public roads. I also know that Port Authority tolls allowed for excellent maintenance on Authority roads and bridges.. And user fees, like prices in general, can be used for rational allocations of public goods. Some combination of user tolls and bridge tolls makes sense. The best allocation is amenable to reason as are subway fares. It might be true, but "That's too much" is not a reasoned argument.

I don't understand private sector investments in infrastructure. That seems to be a voluntary tax on companies. Consumers, who are tax payers too, are ultimately responsible for such taxes.

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