New York Dec 17 The New York Thruway Authority
selected a $3.1 billion proposed design for the new Tappan Zee
Bridge on Monday and decided to cut expenses rather than raise
tolls next year.
Thruway board members picked the least expensive of three
proposals to replace the aging 1950s span across the Hudson
River north of New York City. The winning design resembles two
pairs of tuning forks.
The proposal now goes for review by New York State
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,
who said in a statement that the proposal provides "New York
toll payers the biggest bang for their buck."
Separately, the board approved a 2013 budget that does not
include any toll hikes. The board had been considering a
proposal to increase tolls on large commercial vehicles, but not
DiNapoli said in a statement that he was "gratified" that
the authority decided to drop the idea of toll hikes on
"Imposing a large toll increase would have hurt consumers
and businesses at a time when many New Yorkers are struggling to
recover from the recession," he said.
Instead, the authority is focusing on operational cuts. By
eliminating 361 positions from 2011 through 2013, it will have
trimmed its workforce by 6 percent. Lay-offs are not planned, a
Overall, the authority is also reducing costs, with plans to
cut a total of $100 million through 2014, as well as a $300
million reduction in its capital plan through 2015.