Last week, Gov. Cuomo announced the opening of the first span of the $4 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which is replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The new bridge has become one of who has made the bridge one of his administration’s signature projects The Governor cut a ceremonial ribbon to the bridge’s westbound lane after driving to the event in yellow 1955 Corvette.

Governor Cuomo said:

“The new Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is much more than a magnificent, cutting-edge structure, it is a symbol for this state and this nation. The opening of this new span shows the world that we have our energy and our boldness back, that we will continue to accomplish greats things, and that we are building bigger and better than we have in decades. Excelsior reminds us that the motto of this state says reach even higher, and we’re not only building a new bridge with this in mind – we are building a new state and a stronger economy. This historic project is providing quality jobs, hope and opportunity to both residents and visitors of this state, and I look forward to future generations of New Yorkers crossing the Hudson River on this new bridge for the next 100 years.”

The opening of this bridge is an important achievement. The state used the design-build method – in which a design-build team works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services – saving an estimated $1 billion in construction costs.

But we still have not seen how the state plans to pay for the new bridge. We have been extremely outspoken against the possibility that Upstate commuters will be forced to pay for this bridge through higher Thruway tolls, and we will continue to do so. It is simply not fair to ask people who will never use a bridge to pay for it, and doing so would hurt the Upstate economy.