By Rick Pezzullo
The New York State Thruway Authority announced last month that construction of the new $3.98 billion Tappan Zee Bridge is on target to be completed in 2018.
Meanwhile, there will be no toll increase on the span next year, and a task force has been formed to review toll rates, potential commuter discount options, and a resident discount program for the new bridge.
Thruway Authority Executive Director Robert Megna noted, at a meeting with the Board of Directors in Tarrytown, that 2016 will be the sixth consecutive year tolls have not gone up on the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is projected to handle 259 million vehicles next year.
“Given our success in balancing the Thruway budget and the infusion of additional funding from Governor Cuomo, we have alleviated the need to implement a toll increase for the remainder of 2015 and for all of 2016,” Megna said. “The New NY Bridge project has made tremendous progress, which anyone who drives over the Tappan Zee can see first-hand, and we will continue to work to find ways to keep tolls as low as possible for commuters.”
The five-member task force, which includes former state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald and former Westchester County Department of Transportation Commissioner Lawrence Salley, is expected to make its recommendations in mid-2016.
The next building phase of the bridge will feature a majority of the construction rising above the Hudson River. Recently, steel girder assemblies reached the one-mile point from the Rockland shoreline, and 55% of the concrete piers have been completed.