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Cuomo: New Tappan Zee Bridge a Step Closer

Local officials support push for federal funding.

said this afternoon in Piermont that New York State is closer to building a after a unanimous vote by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council this morning.

"Today we are one step closer to building a new, safer bridge that will revitalize the Hudson Valley by creating thousands of jobs," Cuomo said at a 1 p.m. gathering in Flywheel Park.

More than 100 residents and local, state and federal lawmakers gathered downtown, overlooking the Tappan Zee Bridge to the north and local marinas.

Cuomo led the gathering to thank local officials for signing a letter of support urging the federal government to help fund the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project.

"After over a decade of delay caused by political dysfunction, this letter demonstrates that we are making real progress towards constructing a stronger, transit ready bridge that will reduce congestion and be safer for drivers for years to come," Cuomo said.

Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef said he is pleased to support the project since Cuomo gave assurances that the new bridge was include mass transit capabilities.

"The governor should be given great credit for making it transit compatible," Vanderhoef said. "I am very pleased to be supportive." 

Vanderhoef said the federal government should assist New York with the financing of the new bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland. 

"this new bridge will be safer for our drivers and buillt to last, and include a dedicated bus lane on day one," said Assemblyman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern. "It will be a major economic driver for communites across the region, creating approximately 45,000 jobs."

Last week, county executives from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam announced they would be formally supporting the state's .

Their backing, the executives said, will help New York State in its efforts to get federal funding for the multi-billion-dollar project to replace the linking Rockland and Westchester.

That support comes after securing assurances from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that efforts will be made to ease the impact of likely toll increases, and ensure mass transit options are included in the new bridge.

The three officially voted at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) meeting today to include the project in the region's long-range transportation plan. 

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