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Final Approval Granted For New Tappan Zee Bridge

New Tappan Zee Bridge Design Option #3 (credit: www.newnybridge.com)

New Tappan Zee Bridge Design Option #3 (credit: http://www.newnybridge.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Final approval came Friday for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, the final green light came from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, after they reviewed the fine print in the $3.14 billion contract for the project.

“We looked at the contractor. We looked at the vendor. We looked at the procurement process; made sure it was handled in the appropriate way,” DiNapoli said.

The go-ahead for the contract means construction can start. But a question still remains.

“The big question is still out there — how do we pay for it?” DiNapoli said.

The Thruway Authority still must devise a financing plan as it awaits the terms of a possible low-interest federal loan. DiNapoli has vowed to keep a watchful eye.

“Much of this can be paid for by toll revenue,” he said. “What will be the impact on the riding public?”

The proposal was endorsed by New York State Transportation Commissioner Thomas Madison last month. It was the least expensive with the fastest construction schedule of the three bids that were accepted, although the $5 toll was still expected to nearly triple.

The other projects were priced at $3.99 billion and nearly $4.06 billion, respectively. The final cost will be higher because of management costs, contingencies and other costs which would have been equal under any of the proposals, Madison said.

The Madison-endorsed bid also dredges the least from the Hudson River.

The new bridge will not have rails, but will have the capacity to add them for the Metro North line.

According to a release, the bridge designs would take between five and six years to complete.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)