PRESS RELEASE FROM NITA LOWEY
WHITE PLAINS, NY – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, announced today that Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx has approved a loan of up to $1.6 billion through its Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program for construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge. The loan is the largest ever in the history of the TIFIA program.
The Secretary’s approval comes after the DOT’s Credit Council met this morning to review the loan application.
Yesterday, Congresswoman Lowey wrote a letter urging the DOT to expedite consideration of the TIFIA application and requested a special session of the Credit Council. Congresswoman Lowey’s letter can be viewed here and is below.
As recently as last week, Congresswoman Lowey had personally and directly urged Secretary Foxx to support the project.
“This is a huge milestone for the construction of a New Tappan Zee Bridge, a critical link in our region’s infrastructure system and lifeline for commuters and businesses,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I am excited that the DOT has approved the largest ever TIFIA loan for a transportation project and that the work on a new bridge can continue to move forward. The construction will continue to create jobs and help New York’s economy grow. I was very pleased to work closely with Governor Cuomo and our federal delegation throughout this long process to bring a new Tappan Zee Bridge to the Lower Hudson Valley.”
Congresswoman Lowey’s full letter sent yesterday to the DOT is below:
October 30, 2013
The Honorable John Porcari
Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Deputy Secretary Pocari:
I write to urge you to expedite the consideration of New York State Thruway Authority’s TIFIA application to construct the new Tappan Zee Bridge. As you know, the application must be fully reviewed and approved by the Department of Transportation’s Credit Council before a final decision can ultimately be made by the Secretary of Transportation.
New York State submitted its formal application to the TIFIA program at the end of September. Unfortunately, the government shutdown prevented the Credit Council from quickly meeting on the application. With the next meeting of the Council scheduled for November 12, I urge you to call a special session of the Council to consider the application sooner.
Expediting the application is entirely appropriate for a project such as this, which has been selected by President Obama as a project of national significance and has also already received expedited reviews and approvals in other areas. New York State Thruway has also been a good-faith and cooperative partner with the Department, working diligently to decrease the cost of the bridge by $1.4 billion since the initial letter of interest was submitted last year.
Thank you for consideration of this request. I greatly appreciate all the efforts that the Department has made to work with the State of New York to advance the application and deliver a new bridge to the residents of the Lower Hudson River Valley.
Nita M. Lowey
Member of Congress