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Former Assemblyman: New Tappan Zee Bridge Will Mean Major Toll Hikes

Tolls Will Go 'Up, Up, Up' In The Long Run, Says Richard Brodsky
The Tappan Zee Bridge is seen from Tarrytown - Feb. 5, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

The Tappan Zee Bridge is seen from Tarrytown – Feb. 5, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — No toll hike is planned for the Tappan Zee Bridge next year, but a former state assemblyman from Westchester County said the move is only delaying the inevitable..

Thruway Authority spokesman Daniel Weiller told the Journal News late last week that no change to the current toll of $5 round trip is planned for next year’s budget.

But with plans in place to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge, former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky told WCBS 880 that the only option in the long run is to raise tolls – and not by a nickel or a dime here and there either.

“The fact of the matter is that if we’re going to build a new bridge, the toll plan for the next 25, 30 years really needs to be out there. The news is probably going to be that tolls are going to go up quite extensively to build the new bridge. Whether we need to the toll to go up this year for maintenance and operation, maybe we can get away with a year or two. But the toll moves in the long run is going to be up, up, up.”

Brodsky said the Thruway Authority needs to tell the federal government what its plan is for toll increases over the next 20 years.

“That hasn’t been sent out of Washington yet. That’s what going to happen. That’s when we get the bad news,” he said.

Brodsky said the hope has been that the toll increases will go up roughly the rate of inflation.

The $3.1 billion Tappan Zee project will replace the existing bridge across the Hudson River, connecting Westchester and Rockland counties. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said h eis optimistic that the federal government will grant a loan that could cover $2.9 billion of the cost.

Last year, the Cuomo administration proposed raising the toll on the Tappan Zee Bridge to $14. That proposal caused an outcry among Westchester and Rockland County residents.

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