FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, email@example.com
Last minute meeting violates public process and it’s less clear than ever as to what kind of financial plan we’ll receive
Ossining, NY – August 20, 2012 – Riverkeeper called today’s vote on the Tappan Zee Bridge project at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) meeting a major departure from past promises of transparency and inclusiveness. In the absence of the detailed financial plan, today’s proposal also lacks the specificity required by law.
In order for NYMTC to have taken today’s action, they needed to provide a financial plan for the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge project that at a minimum describes what revenues will be “reasonably available” to pay for the bridge replacement. The only financial plan submitted in support of the proposed Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project, to date, is slightly longer than one page and only describes the costs of the bridge and not the revenue to pay for it.
At the NYMTC meeting today, New York State Director of Operations, Howard Glaser, stated that there is no need to develop a financial plan until after the construction bids are released, as the State does not want to tell bidders what it can afford when competing on design and pricing of the project. This is in direct contradiction to a statement by Thomas Madison, the head of the New York State Thruway Authority, when he promised that the “hard target” for a financial plan was August.
Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper, stated: “In the business world, no reputable company would hold a vote on, let alone approve a $5 billion investment on the basis of a sketchy, one-page financial plan, especially from a business that’s already having problems with its bond rating, like the Thruway Authority.”
Riverkeeper continues to work toward a Tappan Zee Bridge project that abides by Governor Cuomo’s promise in 2010 to provide “environmentally friendly public transportation” and protection of our natural resources.