Riverkeeper Cries Foul Over Call for Vote on Tappan Zee Bridge
Riverkeeper, Ossining, N.Y., is crying foul over the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's last-minute notice for a "crucial" vote today, Aug. 20, pertaining to the planned Tappan Zee Bridge project. The agency's rules require two weeks' notice for such meetings, and the NYMTC gave only three days, Riverkeeper says.
The council is in session this morning to decide whether to adopt resolutions that reportedly would pave the way for the state to apply for federal loans to help fund the project. Cost estimates for the project range from $4.6 billion to $5.6 billion.
NYMTC officials could not be reached for comment.
A Riverkeeper spokeswoman says the organization's representatives are now at the meeting and will hold a press conference following the event.
"State officials have repeatedly promised the public a transparent and inclusive process for the proposed new Tappan Zee Bridge," Riverkeeper said in an Aug. 17 statement. "It's impossible to square that promise with this last-minute decision to call a special meeting for Monday morning."
The group also says the so-called "conformity determination" vote would be illegal because no detailed financing plan for the project has been made public yet. While the state has presented an estimate that includes total cost and cost to complete for major project elements, it was not the full, detailed financial plan that is required for such a vote, the group says.