New York’s request for a $1.58 billion loan from the federal government to help build a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge was predicated on a simple negotiating tactic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
“Ask high,” Cuomo said. “Why not?”
Cuomo suggested the final loan from the federal government will eventually be lower than the state’s request, telling reporters Wednesday that the state was “very aggressive in our ask.” New York officials have previously suggested the state likely won’t receive its full request from the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program to help fund the $3.9 billion bridge.
“Some have said, ‘Well, if you don’t get your ask, that’s earth-shaking because you didn’t get what you asked for,’” Cuomo told reporters. “We asked for a very aggressive amount. When you’re dealing with the federal government, there’s a little bit of a street corner, bizarre negotiating position.”
Contractors officially began formal construction on the new span—which stretches from Rockland to Westchester counties—earlier this month.