NEW YORK – The new Tappan Zee Bridge that is under construction will not be called the Tappan Zee Bridge when it fully opens next year. A bill in the state legislature to name it the Mario Cuomo Bridge after the late governor and father of current Governor Andrew Cuomo, was slipped into a special legislative session recently.
The vast majority of Rockland and Westchester County residents polled by Reclaim New York do not approve of the name change, according to a poll conducted for the organization.
For over a half-century, the Tappan Zee has spanned the Hudson River connecting the two counties.
Those surveyed opposed the renaming of the bridge, which is officially the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, by a more than 20-point margin. Only 14.7 percent of respondents said the new bridge should be named after the former governor.
“People aren’t stupid,” said Reclaim New York Executive Director Brandon Muir. “When you figure they are calling a special session to change the name of the bridge and not address ethics reform, tax reform, transportation issues, it really becomes appalling to think that they call this government service delivery.”
When voters learned the governor and legislature used a constitutional provision reserved for emergencies to ram the bridge naming through with little to no public debate, the number opposing the bridge renaming rose to 77 percent.
The Reclaim New York poll said a majority of those polled were inclined not to support those lawmakers who supported “the backroom deal” dubbed “Cuomo Bridge-gate” by the group.
Also, 65 percent of those polled said they were unwilling to pay more than $1 extra in the toll for the crossing on the $4 million bridge. The state has yet to say what the toll will be.