NY’s Tappan Zee Bridge ‘will be publicly financed’

A senior executive at the New York State Thruway Authority cast doubt on plans to privately finance the $5.2bn bridge rebuild, pointing out that ‘at this moment in time, we don’t have the legal or statutory allowance in New York State to do public-private partnerships”.

Thomas Madison, the newly confirmed executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority, a transport agency, poured cold water on state governor Andrew Cuomo’s hopes to form a public-private partnership (PPP) for the $5.2 billion reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Madison, who was nominated by governor Cuomo for the position in August, told a Senate confirmation hearing held on January 9:

“At this moment in time, we don’t have the legal or statutory allowance in New York State to do PPPs as they are typically defined in transportation projects. So right now, the plan is that the Tappan Zee Bridge will be a publicly financed project,” Madison said.

Nonetheless, Madison, a former Federal Highway Administrator at the US Department of Transportation who also boasts deep private sector experience, is committed to keeping New York economically competitive. 

“As funding becomes more constrained and construction grows more expensive, we must also rethink the traditional methods that we use to finance and deliver projects,” he said at the hearings.

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo outlined a $15 billion infrastructure plan for the state of New York, a blueprint that addressed the rebuild of the landmark bridge.