A state request for a federal loan to help finance a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge has grown to as much as $2.9 billion, according to a letter released Friday.
The state Thruway Authority is seeking anywhere from $2.4 billion to $2.9 billion from a federal loan program, which offers low-interest funds for major construction projects. That’s as much as $900 million more than the state initially sought in a February request.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pledged to rebuild the aging Hudson Valley span, which stretches 3.2 miles across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties.
“Given the importance of the bridge to the economy of the region, we are asking for the maximum we can possibly receive with the hope that we will get the most support possible,” Thruway Authority Executive Director Tom Madison said in a statement.
In the state’s “letter of interest” — first reported by Bloomberg — the Thruway Authority also said it plans to issue anywhere from $2.4 billion to $2.8 billion in toll-backed bonds to finance the bridge.
The letter to the federal Department of Transportation was released just after Madison spoke at an Assembly hearing on the authority’s delicate fiscal situation. At the hearing, Madison said he expects that final tolls for a new Tappan Zee Bridge will be “south of $14,” the authority’s previous estimate.
Here’s the full letter, courtesy of the Thruway Authority: