NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Drivers in the lower Hudson Valley may be getting a break on the toll when the new Tappan Zee Bridge opens.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to freeze tolls on the Tappan Zee and New York Thruway until 2020 using $1 billion in state funds, assets that could come from settlements with banks and insurers.READ MORE: NYCFC Rallies Late In Second Half, Stuns Philadelphia Union For Spot In MLS Cup Final
After much talk of a $14 toll when the new bridge opens in 2018, the news almost seemed too good to be true for commuters.
“I take the bridge every day and keeping the bridge at $5 is welcome news,” Ed Lipkus of Pennsylvania said. “If the governor can freeze and I certainly encourage him to freeze it for as long as he can.”
But Lipkus is skeptical that a massive bridge replacement could be done without some cost to drivers.
“I don’t mean to sound blase about it, but you’re going to pay for it one way or the other,” Lipkus said. “The bridge costs what it costs.”READ MORE: Eagles Remain Undefeated In Their History Against Jets, Score On First 7 Possessions In Easy Win
Commuter John Sheldrake of Wappingers Falls praised Cuomo’s effort.
“I didn’t vote for him but he’s trying to do what he can do,” Sheldrake said. “He knows the economy is hard in the area he’s trying to help out, try to keep it stable at least for now.”
Cuomo is also proposing to eliminate Thruway tolls altogether for vehicles involved in agriculture, a move that he said would help farmers bring their goods to market.
He also wants to give a tax credit to residents and businesses who use the Thruway the most. Passenger vehicle owners who pay $50 or more in tolls and commercial drivers who pay between $100 and $9,999 in annual tolls would be eligible.
Cuomo is also calling for $2 billion in funding to replace and upgrade bridges and pave state and local roads.
More details are expected to come in the governor’s budget address next week.MORE NEWS: Giants' Offense Sputters, Tagovailova Leads Dolphins To 5th Straight Win
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