FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joe Chabot, candidate for Assembly of the 97th District of New York, today released a statement regarding bridge safety, future toll increase and other issues affecting the Tappan Zee Bridge.
“Rockland County is a rare gem in the State of New York. Our county has the ultimate suburban feel combined with city accessibility. The new Tappan Zee Bridge is not only a lifeline to Rockland County, but to Orange County and to parts of New Jersey as well. However, there are looming questions of bridge safety, future toll increases and the Thruway Authority’s financial standards and practices.
“Bridge safety is my biggest concern. We have more than a hundred thousand people commuting over the bridge each day and countless workers who are maintaining the current bridge and building the new one. Since the recent crane incident, why haven’t our elected officials mentioned any further safety measures pertaining to the construction on the new bridge and crane operations during peak work hours?
“Furthermore, our elected officials have stated that tolls will be frozen until 2020 at the current toll rate of $4.75 with EZ-Pass and $5.00 without EZ-Pass. That sounds like a victory and that our elected officials are working for us, but what happens in 2021? How can they guarantee that the tolls will not double or triple to make up for the previous losses that they are sure to claim? Will the tolls go to $17.00 or more to drive over the bridge? I believe that unchecked, these tolls will escalate overnight to cover costs of construction and maintenance, once again hitting the working class the hardest.
“Finally, concerning the toll collection and sound financial practices, I ask when was the last time an internal audit has occurred within the Thruway Authority? We are aware that the State Comptroller performs an annual external audit to make sure the finances balance and align.
“However, an internal audit will look at issues pertaining to fraud and improper business practices, that an external audit wouldn’t expose. I ask Joanne Mahoney, Bill Finch and the other board members to explain why there has been a lack of transparency and accountability. I call for an immediate internal audit.”
Joe Chabot is a resident of Tappan, New York and a candidate for Assembly of the 97th District of New York. For more information, visit www.joechabot.com.