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Transparency Promised For New Tappan Zee Bridge

Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz speaks at a meeting about the Tappan Zee Bridge - White Plains, NY - Jul 25, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz speaks at a meeting about the Tappan Zee Bridge – White Plains, NY – Jul 25, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Key figures involved in building the new Tappan Zee Bridge have promised “transparency” on the project, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

They’ve launched a new website – www.newnybridge.com – and a toll-free hotline – 1-855-TZBRIDGE.

Plus, they’ve started what could be a long long series of meetings. The first was held Wednesday morning in White Plains. The next is being held at 6 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase.

As for the project itself, the federal government did not place it on what’s called the short list for funding.

But in a letter to New York State, the project was said to score well in a federal review.

That has encouraged Albany to continue with the planning.

Marcia Gordon of the Business Council of Westchester and BuildTheBridgeNowNY.org remains optimistic as Congress considers a transportation bill.

“We absolutely know that this gives us the opportunity for a greater amount of funding,” she said.

A public-private partnership, perhaps funded by bridge tolls, is among the possibilities for the project.

Gordon said statements made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo show his continued commitment to a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

One of the hot topics when it comes to the project is mass transit. Many say the bridge would be pointless without a mass transit component.

Cuomo’s top aide on the project, Larry Schwartz, said Wednesday that incorporating bus rapid transit into the new structure would double the cost.

“Whether you have to do a full build-out or a partial build-out, it’s going to cost billions of dollars,” he said.

“We want to suggest some small low-cost improvements that can be done that would not delay the construction of the bridge,” said Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

What would you like to see in a new bridge? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.