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Abinanti Seeks to Incorporate Tappan Zee in Cuomo Bridge Name

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November 26, 2021

By Rick Pezzullo—

State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is looking to bring back the name Tappan Zee to the bridge that bore the tag for 55 years.

Abinanti recently introduced legislation that would incorporate Tappan Zee in the designation of the span that runs between Westchester and Rockland counties so it would be known as the Mario M. Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge.

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The bridge, which officially opened in both directions in September 2018, was named after the former governor who served from 1983 to 1994. As governor, Mario Cuomo’s son, Andrew, pushed to honor his late father by surprising the State Legislature with an 11th hour measure during budget negotiations.

“The governor blindsided the Legislature. There was no bill ever introduced in the Assembly to do this. It was done in the middle of the night,” Abinanti said.

Abinanti (D/ Pleasantville), who represents the 92nd Assembly District, which covers the bridge, said many of his constituents still refer to the bridge as the Tappan Zee.

“There’s still very strong sentiment that the words Tappan Zee should be in the most prominent symbol in the region and should reflect the territory of the region,” Abinanti said.

Also included in the legislation is a proposal to call the welcome center near the bridge’s Westchester landing the Governor Malcolm Wilson Welcome Center. Wilson’s name was added to the former bridge by Mario Cuomo.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D/Scarsdale) is a co-sponsor of the bill. Abinanti has been schmoozing with some lawmakers in the Senate to jump onboard.

“I think there’s a lot of public support for it,” Abinanti said. “I think there’s an opportunity now that there may not have been before. It’s an opportunity to heal and bring everyone together. It’s the right thing to do.”

Since Governor Kathy Hochul replaced Andrew Cuomo, Abinanti said there has been a noticeable difference in Albany.

“There’s not as much antagonism with the executive branch. There’s much more cooperation. There’s conversation,” Abinanti said.

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