The cost to drive across the Tappan Zee bridge could hit the double digits once the project is complete. YNN's Elaina Athans has the details.
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TARRYTOWN -- The State says there is no way the tolls can remain at the current price with a new bridge. Some drivers might end up paying nearly triple what they're paying right now. There are projections and they're not exactly receiving a warm reception.
"That's a crazy fee. I don't know if anybody can go over the bridge under those circumstances," said Tarrytown resident Tamara Lanza
Now, an idea what tolls might be for a new Tappan Zee Bridge and that ride across the Hudson River will cost you more. About $14 for a drivers paying cash, a significant jump from the current $5 fee. Folks with a EZpass would be charged roughly $13 and people on the commuter plan would pay around $8.
"It's too expensive to think about. It's astronomical and I think it's unnecessary," said Tarrytown resident Annette Kinoy.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said now is the time for replacement since the existing bridge has substantial structural problems for the thousands of people that use it. He says what it would cost to repair the decaying bridge isn't that far off from what it would take to replace it.
"Do nothing, you're looking at about a $12 toll. You build a new bridge, you're looking at about a $14 toll," said Governor Cuomo.
The new corridor's pricetag is coming at $5.2 billion. To pay for it, the state plans on using both long-term low interest loans from the federal government and thruway authority bonds backed by tolls.
"We understand that it’s a significant increase, but what you’re going to get is a brand new transit ready bridge that is structural sound. It can withstand things like earthquake, that won’t be prone to traffic tie ups everyday,” said Tappan Zee Bridge Special Advisor Brian Conybeare.
The State wants to open the span by 2017. Around that same time at least commuter will be taking different routes, not avoid traffic but to avoid the toll.
"Ii definitely won't go across the river anymore unless I have to. And if I do, I can go the Bear Mountain [Bridge] way," said Tarrytown resident Maryann Schartner.
These toll prices are just projections. The ultimate cost will depend on which design plan is chosen. There are currently three construction bids under review. The state says depending on which one is picked, there could be a slight drip the toll price.