The U.S. Department of Transportation today confirmed that it has approved up to a $1.6 billion loan for the new Tappan Zee Bridge in the Hudson Valley.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the award this morning, saying it is a critical step for the $3.9 billion project. The state has been lobbying the federal governments for nearly two years for the loan, and New York is getting the largest loan the agency has given out under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation today approved a loan for up to $1.6 billion to the State of New York for the Tappan Zee Bridge project,” the agency said in a statement. “The DOT made the decision following a thorough assessment, which included initial review of the Tappan Zee letter of interest, successful completion of a full creditworthiness review, an invitation to New York to apply and a thorough review of that application.”
The federal government said the loan will soon close.
“The next step will be the closing and execution of the loan agreement,” the statement continued. “Replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge, an integral part of I-87/I-287 on the New York State Thruway, will put people to work and make travel safer on one of the East Coast’s busiest routes.”
Cuomo hailed the news, saying plans to replace the 57-year-old bridge dates back to 1999.
“Over the next 11 years, $88 million in taxpayer dollars was spent, 430 meetings were held, 150 concepts were considered – but the project did not move forward,” Cuomo said in a news release.
The bridge was built to carry up to 100,000 vehicles a day. But it now carries about 138,000 vehicles and requires yearly upkeep.