Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Tappan Zee Bridge would not be included on a short list of projects invited to apply for federal loans; this news came after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the bridge was a top priority for the state and pushed for it to be fast-tracked
The State Republican Party today released a statement blame the DOT’s rejection of the expedited project squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his fellow Democrats, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
How can a project be fast tracked in October and killed in April? It’s called fast tracking a “bridge to nowhere.”
This also points to a failure in leadership on the parts of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Governor Cuomo to secure the necessary federal funds from President Obama.
The State GOP notes that two of its rising starts–Westchester County exec Rob Astorino and Rockland County executive Scott Vanderhoef wanted Mr. Cuomo to include mass transit on a new bridge. The Cuomo administration has pushed for the bridge to be built without mass transit but to allow space for mass transit to be built later.
Both Senators Schumer and Gillibrand seemed to shrug off the news that the bridge wouldn’t be fast-tracked, noting in a statement yesterday that it could still could be approved if the House takes up the Senate’s transportation bill.
“This announcement keeps the door open for the new Tappan Zee bridge,” they said in a joint statement. “The Senate transportation bill that passed with a large bipartisan majority makes a significant investment in the TIFIA program. If the House agrees with that investment, the Tappan Zee has a good chance of being approved, and we hope the House will agree.”
This did not satisfy State GOP chairman Ed Cox, however.