With the public comment period over for , a common thread connects the thoughts and criticisms of Rockland officials—don't finance the new span through excessive toll hikes.
County executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, Rockland Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell and others all touched on financial details—or lack of—tied to the new crossing, which is expected to cost about $5.2 billion and .
Though Vanderhoef supports governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to expedite the building process, he sounded off on the fiscal ambiguity.
"The lack of any financing plan is disturbing and makes the DEIS deficient in this regard," he wrote.
While state thruway and transportation officals , noting the new Tappan Zee Bridge will be finacned entirely by taxpayers, Cuomo is looking into the idea again, according to Bloomberg News.
Other financing options include toll-backed bonds and a $2 billion federal loan.
Bridge officials have not commented on the possibility or details of toll hikes, but other groups have speculated. In the February issue of AAA's New York Car and Travel, a liberal estimate hovers around a $25 increase.
Vanderhoef also calls for toll-exemption for all Rockland-owned buses, and a discounted toll rate for Rockland County residents with E-ZPass. He also suggests two-percent of toll revenue be allocated to the Rockland County Department of Public Transportation to supplement current and future bus transit options.
Cornell, in her missive, noted the lack of financing information could translate into hefty toll hikes.
"A huge hike in tolls would be disproportionately borne by Rockland commuters
who cross the bridge daily to reach jobsites and who have no realistic alternate route," she said.
An estimated 42,000 Rockland commuters use the bridge each day—about 30-percent of all daily traffic on the span.
Cornell said a pricey commuter tax would hinder Rockland's development, and suggests—like Vanderhoef—that Rockland residents be granted a reduced rate.
Nyack officials are wary of increased tolls, too—mayor Jen Laird-White an egregious toll uptick would make Rocklanders "prisoners" in their own county.
In South Nyack, residents and officials are of the span, as the state aims to , some of which are historic.