Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino claims supporters of a new Tappan Zee Bridge unfairly characterized him as an opponent of the project after he questioned whether the new span would adequately include mass transit.
“All of the sudden I became the guy in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the tank that was not going to allow a bridge to be built, which was silly,” he told business leaders in Tarrytown on Thursday. “Through negotiations—the governor compromised, we compromised—there will a mass transit component on the bridge in the form of designated bus lanes.”
A new Tappan Zee, he added, “is something I have supported from day one.”
Astorino made the remarks during a breakfast organized by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, an economic development advocacy group.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell also attended to weigh in on economic growth in their counties.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein helped lead the panel discussion, joking that “this is going to be a Tappan Zee therapy session for everybody.”
Astorino quipped: “They are going to need it when they know what the tolls are.”
(County leaders discussed economic development and the new Tappan Zee Bridge at breakfast with business leaders in Tarrytown on April 4, 2013. The meeting was hosted by Pattern for Progress. Photo credit: Theresa Juva-Brown/The Journal News)