New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (R), with advisor Brian Conybeare, standing in front of a model of the new design. (Image courtesy of @NYGovCuomo)
UPDATE: It's official: New York has awarded the contract to construct the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
In a press release, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, “the Thruway Board has selected the Tappan Zee Constructors’ plan which offers New York toll payers the biggest bang for their buck – with the best price, shortest construction time, minimal dredging, and can accommodate mass transit in the future. This is a major milestone for a bridge project that was a metaphor for the dysfunction of government and is now a national model for progress.”
Earlier Monday, Tom Madison, the executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority, said he was supporting a $3.1 billion plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The (presumptive) new Tappan Zee Bridge. (New York Thruway Authority)
The board unanimously approved the contract at its meeting on Monday.
The wining design was recommended by a selection committee earlier this month. At $3.1 billion, it's the least expensive of the three design finalists; Madison pointed out that with a construction time of five years, 2.5 months, it's also the fastest to build. It's one of the largest contracts ever executed in New York -- and it will be the first project constructed under the state's new design-build legislation.
The winning bidder is Tappan Zee Constructors -- a consortium led by Fluor Enterprises, Inc.. One of the team members is American Bridge -- the company which constructed the original Tappan Zee back in 1955.
No financing plan is yet in place to construct the bridge. Cuomo reiterated Monday "the tolls on the Tappan Zee will be one of the main funding sources for that bridge." The state is also waiting to see if the federal government will approve its request for a $2.9 billion TIFIA loan.
New York's comptroller has to sign off on the contract.