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Opinion: Compare TZ to the Right Bridges

A letter to the editor

To the editor (regarding the ):

The real comparison for toll increases on the Tappan Zee should be to the Beacon Newburgh Bridge, and not to the George Washington Bridge, which goes into a major city and commerce area.

This is aside from the question of whether the tolls on the latter have been diverted for uses other than for the maintenance—an issue now under investigation and litigation. 

Apparently, no outside agency (like the Army Corps. of Engineers) has been brought in to verify the future costs of maintaining the TZB, or whether it could be widened as was done to the Beacon Newburgh Bridge years ago. Moreover, I believe current income (tolls) should be used for maintenance purposes and not for capital replacement items, which are a long-term liability (and should be bonded as such).  

I have emailed my above issues to the NYS Thruway Authority.

—Arthur Winoker, Nanuet

art gunther III August 09, 2012 at 04:15 PM
According to a 1940 War Department directive, any Hudson River crossing near NYC must be available in case of war for military use. That is why certain specifications were used for the 1953-55 TZB. I would assume that since the new crossings (the two bridges now planned) must also meet secs, the Feds could help pay for it. Has anyone asked?
Anthony Mele August 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM
The Bridges are necessary to inter-state commerce. This is clear. Like any other business proposition, it comes down to price. No one will over pay for a devaluing product. In modern dollars, the Brooklyn Bridge cost $320 million to build, the Lincoln Tunnel cost under $1 billion. A suspension, Pilon Bridge spanning the Hudson should not cost 5 times more the average bridge anywhere else in NYS. Nor should the consumer cost be drastically prohibitive as all NY Tolls are today. I suggest, everybody get back to the drawing boards, a foreign labor force as is rumored, is off the table, and turn the entire project over to Engineers and Private investors. Politicians and Bureaucrats that never built a lemonade stand have no standing in building a bridge. The proof is look at the mess they re making of it now. Governor, this is a job for American business not Albany Politicians.

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