This newspaper is providing our readers an opportunity to offer their opinions as to what the name of the new bridge could be and possibly win a prize in the process. To be sure, we can’t state that our readers’ sentiments will ever influence the authorities, or even if there will be a different name attached to the new span.
During construction, it has been called the New NY Bridge, and little has been said by the New York State Thruway Authority, which operates it, or officials in Albany as to whether it will retain the existing Tappan Zee bridge’s name or receive a new one.
Few people actually refer to the full name of the old bridge, completed in 1955, and at the time given the name, Tappan Zee Bridge, after the wide area of the Hudson River it crossed. “Tappan” had been the name of a native American tribe in the area, and “Zee” in Dutch means sea.
However, in 1994, it officially got a fresh label, The Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, honoring the 50th Governor of New York State, (1973-1974). Wilson had, as Lieutenant Governor, taken over when Nelson Rockefeller stepped down from that top position. Wilson had also been a long-time member of the State Assembly, from 1939 to 1958. He lost a bid to continue as Governor, having been defeated in 1974 by Hugh Carey. Wilson died in 2000.
So, if you think there is a person, or associated location that should be honored and whose name should be linked to the new bridge, this newspaper would like to hear from you. First prize, a $100 dinner gift certificate, will go to the winner selected at random from the entries among the majority of those submitted with the same suggested new bridge name. A second prize winner of a $50 dinner certificate, will be selected at random from all entries.
TO ENTER submit the bridge name you suggest, and one sentence spelling out your reason for the selection, along with your name, email address and phone number, in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries in the contest will continue until June 12, with the winners announced in this newspaper’s July issue.