New Bridge Expected To Cost $3.9 Billion

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The actual building of the new Tappan Zee Bridge has begun, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Cuomo said “formal construction” began with the driving of piles that will be part of the bridge’s foundation.

“After more than a decade of delay, New York State has moved this project forward at a dramatic pace while working with the community, involving the public and protecting the local environment,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Once completed, drivers in Rockland, Westchester and surrounding areas will finally have a safer, less congested bridge that will include a walkway for pedestrians and bikers and accommodates future mass transit.”

The Hudson River site has been busy with pre-construction activity for months, with crews building platforms and dredging.

“The first permanent pilings that will hold up the new Tappan Zee Bridge are now going in the water as of this week,” Cuomo’s special advisor on the new bridge Brian Conybeare told WCBS 880 on Wednesday afternoon. “It is a major step forward for the project.”

Live construction cameras are now operating so people can keep tabs on the progress of the construction. The construction cameras and other information on the bridge project can be found here.

“We believe it is the largest single contract for an infrastructure project in all of North America. It is a very, very large project, it is a very exciting time because it’s finally moving forward after a decade of delay,” Conybeare told WCBS 880.

The new bridge is expected to cost $3.9 billion. Funding is not yet in place. The state is hoping that a federal loan will help limit the expected large hike in the current $5 toll.

Cuomo said some traffic should be on the new bridge by late 2016 and the entire project should be done by 2018.

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