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Tappan Zee Bridge

WNYC News

Resignations Put Focus on Fiscal Woes at Thruway Authority

Friday, January 02, 2015

The resignations come against a budget shortfall and questions over financing the Tappan Zee Bridge. 

Comment

WNYC News

Two More Resignations at Troubled Thruway Authority

Thursday, January 01, 2015

A spokesman for the Authority confirmed the departures of its Executive Director and Chief Financial this week, following the chair's resignation in early December.

Comment

WNYC News

Panel Says Cuomo Administration Hushed Tappan Zee Loan Discussions

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A state watchdog board charges that the governor's appointees ignored a warning letter and held discussions in private.

Comment

Transportation Nation

EPA Disqualifies Controversial Tappan Zee Loan

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In a stunning rebuke to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the federal Environmental Protection Agency struck down a massive loan to one of the state's signature transportation projects.
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WNYC News

Panel Cuts Down Cuomo's Request for Tappan Zee Money

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Environmentalists argued bridge project items didn't qualify for financing from state fund. 

Comments [2]

WNYC News

EPA, Environment Groups Want Further Review of Tappan Zee Loan Proposal

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Environmental advocates are already asking a state panel to delay a vote on the governor's proposal to use more than $500 million in loans from the Clean Water Fund to help pay for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

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Transportation Nation

Obama Urges Infrastructure Push in Tappan Zee Speech

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

With the White House projecting the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this summer, President Barack Obama visited the Tappan Zee Bridge to press Congress for a solution.

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Transportation Nation

Tappan Zee Bridge Needs Bus Rapid Transit: Panel

Friday, February 28, 2014

When the currently under construction Tappan Zee Bridge opens for business in 2018, it should have seven new bus rapid transit lines—and eventually plan to reboot rail service in the Rockland County area.

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WNYC News

Since Last State of the State, A Mixed Bag for Cuomo

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

WNYC

A year ago, in his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dramatically proposed the world's largest convention center near JFK airport, $15 billion in infrastructure investments, restructuring the state's pension program, and public financing of elections.  As we head into the 2013 state of the state, here's a tally of where those promises ended up.

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Transportation Nation

New York Chooses Builder for $3.1 Billion Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement

Monday, December 17, 2012

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.

 

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Transportation Nation

New Tappan Zee Bridge Design Released

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rendering of  Design Proposal 1 for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, NY, estimated to cost $3.142 billion. (New York State Thruway Authority)

A selection committee has recommended a futuristic design for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, with suspension supports leaning outwards, giving the bridge the look of a stripped-down building by Santiago Calatrava.

Calatrava has designed the World Trade Center transit hub, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Athens Olympic stadium.

The New York State Thruway Authority -- the agency in charge of the project -- will consider the design, along with two others, for a new Tappan Zee Bridge. The three designs were released at Governor Cuomo's cabinet meeting Wednesday.

The designs range from $3.142 billion to $4.059 billion when all estimated costs are totaled. All three proposals are being called "transit ready," though images of the bridge being recommended don't show buses or transit on the roadway.

Details of how the proposals will be financed still haven't been released. Governor Cuomo said both the bridge's full cost and the amount of federal financing (still unknown) would have to be tallied before a bridge financing plan could be released.

The three designs will be considered December 17th by the Thruway Authority board.

The state had said the bridge would cost $5.2 billion, but had been hoping the cost would be adjusted downward -- in part to lower future tolls  on drivers.

For more on why the bridge matters nationally, and the planning process to date, see our previous coverage.

More soon on the design details.

Design Proposal 1, seen in daytime, for the new Tappan Zee Bridge. (New York Thruway Authority)

 

Design Proposal 2 for the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Estimated cost, $3.99 billion. (New York State Thruway Authority)

 

Design Proposal 3 for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, estimated cost $3.99 billion. (New York State Thruway Authority)

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Transportation Nation

Feds Gives Final OK to Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(photo by duluoz cats via flickr)


The federal government has given its final approval to New York State's plans to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. It's the final regulatory hurdle the $5 billion project had to cross before the state could award a contract and begin construction.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was elated by the Department of Transportation's decision, which is the result of a year-long sprint by his administration to fast-track plans to replace the 56-year old bridge linking Westchester and Rockland Counties.

"From my point of view, that was the most difficult step all along here," Cuomo said. "Building the bridge is actually the easy part. Relative to the environmental review, it's a straightforward task. "

The environmental review is a 10,000 page document laying out the environmental impact the project will have on the surrounding Hudson River area -- and demonstrates how the state will conform to federal law.

"It doesn't build the bridge -- we still have to pick a contractor, we still have to work out the financing," said the governor, "but the environmental review is basically completed."

The state is currently reviewing bids from three contractors. Once a team is picked, which is expected to be later this year, it will be constructing the bridge under New York's new design-build legislation. Last week, the governor named a design team to help review the bids and provide aesthetic guidance.

But one big question has yet to be answered: how the state will pay for the new bridge. New York is in the process of requesting a low-interest loan from the federal government, and Cuomo has said that the basic source of financing will come from tolls. But the state has yet to release a comprehensive finance plan.

Still, the governor said, the hardest step was in the rear-view mirror. "I'm going to exhale today," he said.

 

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Transportation Nation

New York Governor Cuomo Names New Design Review Team for Tappan Zee Bridge

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Earlier this summer New York Governor Cuomo promised that a "blue ribbon selection committee" would review designs for the new $5.2 billion Tappan Zee Bridge. And on Wednesday morning, he named the members.

Artist Jeff Koons, architect Richard Meier, and Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Campbell provide star power for "The Bridge Design Aesthetic Team," which is tasked with recommending a final design for the new bridge.

The state is currently reviewing the bids from the three finalists for the project and will select one later this year.

Cuomo had promised to put a design review team in place to address aesthetic concerns about what the final bridge would look like.

But in his announcement today, he wouldn't be pinned down on what the team was looking for. "I think we'll know it when we see it," the governor said. "We want an attractive design that enhances the region." He added that the Tappan Zee, which connects Rockland and Westchester Counties, spans "a magnificent part of the Hudson River" and "design is an important element here."

But the governor's press release makes it clear that the team's job is advisory. "When the review team has made its recommendation," it reads, "a final formal decision will be made by the Thruway Authority, subject to the approval of its Board."

 The full press release is below.

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GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES TEAM OF ARTISTS, TECHNICAL EXPERTS, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS TO HELP SELECT FINAL BRIDGE DESIGN FOR TAPPAN ZEE PROJECT

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a selection review team for the new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee. The review team will include internationally renowned artists and architects, under the auspices of the New York State Council of the Arts, who will review proposed bridge designs as well as assist local community leaders and transportation experts in the evaluation process.

The artists and experts who will review the designs include:· Jeffrey Koons, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
· Richard Meier, a Pritzker Prize winning architect and Gold Medal awardee for architecture from the Academy of Arts and Letters
· Thomas P. Campbell, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
· Keith Brownlie, an internationally acclaimed bridge designer"Another day, another big step toward building a new bridge to replace the Tappan Zee which will be stronger, safer, better as well as one which will live up to the beauty and splendor of the Hudson River," Governor Cuomo said. "For this project, we are creating a different kind of review team – it’s a team that combines technical experts, architectural experts, local experts as well as artists to ensure the new bridge is the best choice and fit for the region."

The selection process will evaluate the technical quality of the proposals in conjunction with pricing information, to identify the proposal that offers the best value to New York State. The "best value" approach, made possible by the design-build legislation enacted by Governor Cuomo last year, looks at factors such as design and long-term quality of the project to ensure that the proposal chosen meets the needs of the region, the transportation system and toll payers.

Specifically, the selection review team will be evaluating the best value of each bid based on criteria stated in the RFP, which generally include:· Best price for toll payers
· Bridge structure and design
· Investment in future transit options, including BRT and rail
· Traffic management plan
· Plan for working collaboratively with community and local stakeholders
· Ability to meet strict environmental requirements
· Construction plan
· Bridge lifespan
· Geotechnical for bridge foundations
· History and experience of design-build team
The review team members will undergo rigorous procurement training before beginning the bid evaluation process as required by federal procurement law. Once the evaluation process is complete, the review team has a number of options before it sends a final recommendation to the Governor. The team can:· Recommend one of the three bids submitted in July
· Authorize negotiations with one or more bidders based on its submission
· Authorize a request for a best and final offer from multiple bidders.
When the review team has made its recommendation, a final formal decision will be made by the Thruway Authority, subject to the approval of its Board.

MEMBERS OF BRIDGE DESIGN AESTHETIC TEAM

Jeffrey Koons: Artist
Internationally recognized artist Jeff Koons is widely known for his iconic sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog as well as his monumental floral works Puppy and Split-Rocker. His work has been exhibited extensively around the world. Working with everyday objects, his work revolves around themes of self-acceptance and transcendence. Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Most recently, the Royal Academy of Arts presented Koons with the John Singleton Copley Award, Governor Ed Rendell presented Koons with The Governor’s Awards for the Arts - Distinguished Arts Award, and President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur. He has become a fervent advocate for protecting children and has served six years on the board of directors for the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). With both the International and National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children, Mr. Koons developed the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute in 2007, with the purpose of combating child abduction and exploitation. Koons lives and works in New York City.

Mr. Koons said, "As an artist I'm honored to participate as a voice to try to help assure an aesthetic Tappan Zee Bridge project. It's a wonderful opportunity for our generation to contribute to a project that will not only enhance everyday life but help define a sense of place for New York."

Richard Meier: Architect
Richard Meier received his architectural training at Cornell University and established his own office in New York City in 1963. Since that time his international practice has encompassed major cultural and civic commissions as well as private residences and corporate and academic facilities. He has received the highest honors in the field including the Pritzker Prize for Architecture, the Gold Medals of the American Institute of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects as well as the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association. He is best known for the Getty Center in Los Angeles; the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Jubilee Church in Rome. His current work includes the Mitikah Office Tower in Mexico City, Mexico; a condominium complex in Jesolo, Italy; the Rothschild tower in Tel Aviv, Israel; two residential towers in Tokyo, Japan; two hospitality and commercial projects in Mexico; a hotel in South Korea; a condominium tower in Taiwan; the Leblon Offices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and private residences in Europe, Asia and North America.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Since becoming the ninth Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2009, Thomas P. Campbell has pursued an agenda that focuses on scholarship and accessibility. These priorities maintain the Museum’s excellence in its exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, and permanent collections, while encouraging new thinking about the visitor experience. Prior to his appointment, Campbell was a curator in the Metropolitan's Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts for 14 years, where he organized two major exhibitions on Renaissance and Baroque tapestry.

Mr. Campbell said, "I was very pleased to be asked by Governor Cuomo to become a member of the artistic design committee for the new bridge. I am well aware—as a former resident of the Hudson Valley and as director of a great museum holding a distinguished collection of Hudson River School paintings, which portray the majestic beauty of the region—of the great significance that the project holds from a practical as well as aesthetic standpoint. It’s a privilege to work on a project so important to New York, one that will serve such an important practical purpose while preserving and honoring the scale and scenery of the area."

Alison Spear AIA, LEED AP : Architect
Alison Spear is a local and LEED certified architect licensed to work in New York as well as other states and is presently a Senior Designer with Ennead Architects, (formerly James Polshek & Partners), in New York City. Spear was formerly the principal of her architectural and design firm, Alison Spear AIA in Wappingers Falls, New York City and Miami, Florida. She has taught at several universities including University of Miami School of Architecture, Parson’s School of Design and a visiting critic Syracuse University School of Architecture and University of Toronto. She has received several awards including the Design Star Award from the Design Center of the Americas and was named the 2005 Interior Architect of the Year by the American Institute of Architects. Spear is a resident of the Hudson Valley.

Keith Brownlie: Bridge Architect
Keith Brownlie is a leading international Bridge Architect specializing in the design of major infrastructure and engineering projects worldwide. He has been responsible for shaping numerous landmark bridge structures including the Gateshead Millennium and Twin Sails Bridges in the United Kingdom, the Metsovitikos Crossing in Greece and the Sutong Yangtze River Bridge in China. He has also directed the architectural design of many significant infrastructure projects including High Speed One rail link in the UK and the 18km Fehmarnbelt Tunnel between Germany and Denmark, as well as super high rise buildings such as the 1450ft Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China. Projects with which he has been involved have received the highest international architecture and engineering awards, including the RIBA Stirling Prize in the United Kingdom, the Arthur G. Hayden Medal in the United States and the Balthasar Neumann Prize in Germany. Brownlie graduated from Brighton School of Architecture and the Mackintosh School of Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow University. He is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and a member of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineers.

Thomas Wermuth: Director, Hudson River Valley Institute & Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Marist College
Thomas Wermuth is a published expert on the social and economic history of the Hudson Valley. He is editor of the book series, “The Hudson River Valley: An American Region,” which focuses on the history, culture, literature and tourism of the Valley. He was an associate editor of the Encyclopedia of New York State and author of
Rip Van Winkle's Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley and edited America's First River: The Hudson, published by the State University of New York Press. He serves on the Executive Board of the New York Academy of History and is chair of the editorial board of the Hudson River Valley Review. He resides in Harrison, Westchester County.

MEMBERS OF THE SELECTION COMMITTEE

State Representatives
Brandon Sall, Chairman of Selection Committee
Brandon Sall is a member of the Thruway Board of Directors and a partner at Sall & Geist and Gellert & Rodner, located in White Plains. Sall has vast experience with real estate law and knowledge of the process involved with land transactions. He is admitted to the Bar in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida and is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Sall received his B.B.A from the University of Miami and attended the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City. He resides in Harrison.

Nuria Fernandez
Nuria Fernandez is Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). She previously served as Senior Vice President of CH2M Hill, a firm that provides engineering, construction, and operations services for businesses and governments throughout the world. Prior to that, Fernandez served as Commissioner for the Chicago Airport System, where she directed all airport operations, planning, engineering, and management services for O'Hare and Midway International Airports, the second busiest airport system in the world. She has also served in executive positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and the Chicago Transit Authority.

Joan McDonald
Joan McDonald is Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. Commissioner McDonald previously served as commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development for the State of Connecticut, as Senior Vice President of Transportation for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and as the Vice President in charge of New York and New Jersey at Jacobs Engineering. She began her transportation career as Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Traffic Operations for the New York City DOT and as the Director of Capital and Long Range Planning for the MTA Metro-North Railroad.

Karen Rae
Karen Rae is Deputy Secretary for Transportation in the Executive Chamber. Prior to joining the Cuomo Administration, she served as Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration in the Obama Administration, where she managed the federal high speed rail initiative and developed national freight and passenger rail policy. She also served as Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, including negotiating and executing the multi-billion dollar public-private partnership contract for the Dulles rail project. She was previously General Manager of transit systems in Austin, Texas, Glens Falls and Buffalo. Rae was also Deputy Commissioner of Policy and Planning at the New York State DOT, where she was responsible for finance, planning and policy, and Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania DOT, where she led the creation of a streamlined, performance-based funding program for transit.

Community Representatives
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef
County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef has designated County Commissioner of Planning Thomas B. Vanderbeek, P.E., to represent Rockland County on the Selection panel. Vanderbeek has a wealth of experience with respect to facilities and water supply planning, having successfully worked with major governmental agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as Rockland County’s towns and villages. He is a licensed professional engineer specializing in civil and environmental engineering as well as water resources planning. For eight years, he was a member of the Rockland County Planning Board. Vanderbeek also served as Stony Point Town Engineer and was project manager and engineer in the development of sewer systems in western Ramapo, overseeing environmental impact study, survey and design. Vanderbeek has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and is a member of the state Fire Prevention and Building Codes Council, the Rockland County Parks Commission and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
County Executive Rob Astorino has designated County Department of Planning Commissioner Edward Buroughs to represent Westchester County on the Selection panel. Buroughs’s career has since 1980 focused on municipal planning in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, following earlier experience in county and town governments in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the county staff in 1994, he served as Director of Planning for the towns of Somers and Lewisboro in Westchester and as consulting town planner for the town of Carmel in Putnam County. He earned a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and a
B.A. from the University of Delaware.

Village of South Nyack Mayor Tish Dubow
Mayor Tish Dubow has designated Richard L. Kohlhausen to represent the Village of South Nyack on the Selection panel. Kohlhausen was appointed to the SUNY Rockland Community College Board of Trustees by Governor Pataki and was reappointed by Governor David Paterson. He also serves as President of the Board of Nyack Hospital, and formerly served as President of the Nyack School Board and as a Member of the Board of the Edwin Gould Academy in Ramapo. A West Virginia native, Kohlhausen moved to Rockland more than 30 years ago and currently resides in South Nyack. He has worked as a chemical engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, and now works in the insurance industry for Capitol Risk Management Services, Ltd. in Nanuet. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from New York University and an M.B.A. from Iona College, New York.

Village of Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell
Mayor Drew Fixell has designated David Aukland to represent the Village of Tarrytown on the Selection panel. Aukland is a member of the Village's five-person Planning Board, to which he was appointed in 2006. His work for the Village has included reviews of the implications of various Tappan Zee Bridge replacement proposals with the Mayor and other officials, as well as other activities relating to the future development of the Village. Prior to his formal association with the Village of Tarrytown, Aukland worked for IBM. After early work in the United Kingdom, he spent fifteen years at the company's European headquarters in Paris, France.

Technical Experts
Al Biehler
Al Bielher is a Distinguished Service Professor of Transportation Systems and Policy at the H. John Heinz III College at Carnegie Mellon University, Executive Director of the University Transportation Center, and an adjunct professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in the Engineering College at Carnegie Mellon. He previously served for eight years as Secretary of the Pennsylvania DOT, leading an organization that operated the nation’s fifth largest state highway system and administered one of the country’s largest grant programs for mass transit, rail freight, and aviation. As Secretary, he launched a program known as Smart Transportation to streamline and stabilize Pennsylvania’s transit program. In 2009, Biehler was elected President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, where he helped to create the State Smart Transportation Initiative to assist state transportation agencies wishing to accelerate sustainable practices. Prior to his post at DOT, he was a Vice President with the international transportation consulting firm DMJM-Harris, where he was project manager for preliminary engineering of the North Shore LRT Connector project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Director of Planning and Preliminary Engineering for extension of the Tren Urbano rail system in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Earlier, Biehler was Director of Planning, Engineering and Construction at Port Authority of Allegheny County, in charge of the agency’s $500 million capital improvement program. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and a masters-equivalent Certificate in Highway Transportation from Yale University. He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania.

Gene McGovern
Gene McGovern is widely known and respected as a manager of large construction projects. In 1979, he co-founded Lehrer McGovern Inc., which ultimately became a part of the construction industry leader now known as Bovis Lend Lease. Lehrer McGovern was the construction manager for the mid-1980s restoration of the Statue of Liberty, and worked on other high-profile projects including renovations of Grand Central Station and Ellis Island and the construction of Euro Disney and London’s Canary Wharf business district.

Robert Yaro
Robert Yaro is President of Regional Plan Association (RPA), the nation's oldest independent metropolitan policy, research, and advocacy group. He led development of and co-authored RPA's Third Regional Plan, A Region at Risk, and has authored and co-authored numerous papers and articles on planning and infrastructure for the five boroughs of New York City and the metropolitan region. He founded and co-chairs America 2050, RPA's initiative to create a national development and infrastructure plan. He is co-chair of the Empire State Transportation Alliance, on the board of the Forum for Urban Design, and an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Yaro holds a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Wesleyan University. In addition to leading RPA, Yaro is a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania and has consulted on city and regional planning issues across the United States and in Europe, China, Japan, Turkey, and North Africa.

TECHNICAL ADVISORS

Mark Roche, Senior Technical Advisor
Mark Roche is a Principal of Arup and leads its Highways Business in the Americas. A civil and structural engineer, Mr. Roche has worked in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the Americas on a wide range of complex multi-disciplinary bridge, rail and highway projects where innovation and constructability have been key issues. His bridge experience includes post-tensioned segmental, arch and cable-stayed plus other more common bridge forms. He has extensive experience with bridges and other structures in high seismic activity zones and areas of high environmental forces. He brings innovation and value to projects with his knowledge of bridge aesthetics, risk and extensive experience on design-build projects.

Robert Brownstein, Procurement Expert
Robert Brownstein is Vice President of AECOM and an internationally-recognized expert with 40 years of experience in infrastructure related industries, with particular expertise in procurement and project development. He has served as a procurement advisor for numerous public agencies throughout the United States and other countries. He is a frequent speaker at conferences throughout the world.

Steven Polan, Counsel to the Selection Committee
Steven Polan is a partner at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips. He represents government agencies and contractors worldwide in the development and construction of significant transportation infrastructure projects. He was general counsel for an international construction and engineering company, and previously served as Commissioner of Sanitation for the City of New York and as General Counsel of the MTA.

Construction
Jay Bayersdorfer
Jay Bayersdorfer is the Chief Estimator for AECOM NYC Metro and has over 29 years of experience in all types of heavy and civil construction. His experience includes planning, costing and implementation of heavy/highway projects, underground utility construction, complex excavations for underground structures, earth support systems, slurry walls, groundwater control, environmental remediation, heating, energy, and ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Donald Phillips
Donald Phillips is a Principal of Arup, a member of the Arup Americas Board and Chair of Arup's Transport Market in the Americas, with a particular focus on major projects in the fields of transport, civil structures, bridges, tunnels and heavy civil engineering. He currently holds senior management and engineering positions on a number of projects that include Lake Mead Intake #3, A30 P3 Highway project in Montreal, and California High Speed Rail Los Angeles to Fresno Segments. He was chairman of the Association of California High Speed Trains. He also acts as a reviewer and provides support and expert advice on major infrastructure projects and has been an expert on several legal cases.

Environmental
Robert Conway
Robert Conway is an environmental engineer with over 30 years of experience in the environmental assessment of complex infrastructure and development projects. He has led the environmental review and permitting processes for a number of major transportation projects in the region including the Long Island Rail Road Eastside Access Project, New York State DOT Route 9A Reconstruction Project, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey World Trade Center Permanent Path Terminal and Bayonne Bridge, the Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak Portal Bridge Project, and New York City DOT Belt Parkway Bridges Program.

Financial
Thomas Kellerman, CFA
Thomas Kellerman, CFA is a senior vice president with Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors. He pioneered a methodology to evaluate and optimize project finance deals and developed an analytical tool based on this methodology. He has years of experience in asset valuation, capital markets, simulation modeling, risk analysis and mitigation and financial structuring. He has worked on a wide range of public sector projects including the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Goethals Bridge Replacement Project and Illinois DOT Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass, as well as a range of major projects for the Florida Department of Transportation. He has a B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeffrey A. Parker
Jeffrey Parker is a senior managing director of Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors. One of the nation’s leading advisors on public-private partnerships and financial planning for transportation projects, he played a key role in helping to bring to fruition projects including the Port of Miami Tunnel and I-595 public-private partnerships and the Miami Intermodal Center, the largest intermodal complex in the U.S. He is currently an advisor on the Georgia Multi-Modal Transportation Project, a mixed-use redevelopment and intermodal complex in downtown Atlanta. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Megna
Robert L. Megna is New York State's Budget Director, where he is responsible for the overall development and management of the State’s fiscal policy, including overseeing the preparation of budget recommendations for all State agencies and programs, economic and revenue forecasting, tax policy, fiscal planning, capital financing and management of the State’s debt portfolio, as well as pensions and employee benefits. Mr. Megna previously served as the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, responsible for overseeing the collection and accounting of more $90 billion in State and local taxes, the administration of State and local taxes, including New York City and City of Yonkers income taxes and the processing of tax returns, registrations and associated documents.

Before joining the Department of Taxation and Finance, Mr. Megna served as head of the Economic and Revenue Unit of the New York State Division of Budget, as Assistant Commissioner for Tax Policy for the Commonwealth of Virginia, as Director of Tax Studies for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and as Deputy Director of Fiscal Studies for the Ways and Means Committee of the New York State Assembly.

Geotechnical Advisors
Tony Canale
Tony Canale has been involved in managing a wide range of design projects covering transportation, private development, and public structures. He has been responsible for traditional geotechnical studies, such as laboratory testing of undisturbed soil samples, consolidation settlement estimates, slope stability analyses, seepage analyses, and rock bolting design. Canale’s design projects have included foundation recommendations for high-rise structures in Manhattan such as One Bryant Park, the New York Times headquarters and Times Square Tower. He has been involved in projects that required piled foundations and caissons such as the new Mets baseball stadium, Citi Field, and the East River Plaza Retail Center in upper Manhattan. He has also worked on the Tappan Zee Bridge Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) project over the past nine years. During that time, he has supervised several subsurface investigations and the recently completed pile installation demonstration program, and was the primary author of several foundation related reports that were included in the EIS report.

Tony Kiefer
Tony Kiefer is a project manager and project principal for geotechnical and civil engineering projects with AECOM. He is responsible for management and principal review of complex projects, and his experience includes scheduling, design of explorative programs, supervision of support personnel, and writing and reviewing of reports with engineering recommendations.

Hugh Lacy
Hugh Lacy is a partner with Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (MRCE). He is an expert in underpinning, protecting existing structures during adjacent construction, and ground freezing technology. He was instrumental in developing the frozen soil testing capability for MRCE's in-house soil laboratory as a state-of-the art facility, and the only private lab in the United States that offers these services. He directs numerous high profile projects involving tunnels, subways and shafts, bridge foundations, building foundations and deep basements, wastewater facilities, dams, and the majority of the firm's work in Washington, DC. He specializes in geotechnical investigations, analysis of probable foundation performance, pile foundation performance, pile foundations, design and construction of building and waste water facility foundations, railroad structures and tunnels, associated dewatering and excavation support including ground freezing.

Legal
Peter W. Denton
Peter Denton is an attorney with Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, advising clients on design-build and other innovative contracts for development of major transportation projects. These projects include the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s intercity passenger rail system, the Virginia DOT Midtown Tunnel project, the North Carolina DOT I-77 HOT Lanes project, the Georgia DOT West by Northwest Managed Lanes Project and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit District’s commuter rail project.

Management
Tom Cascino
Tom Cascino is Vice President in charge of AECOM’s upstate New York transportation business practice, covering all design and construction inspection services. He has worked on multiple design-build projects, including the Gauley Bridge in West Virginia, and has a wide breadth of experience with staff throughout the region and with various New York State agencies, including the New York State Thruway Authority and New York State DOT.

Charles Dwyer
Charles Dwyer is a Program Director with AECOM with over 20 years of experience in the procurement and management of design-build projects. His skills include planning, design and construction of highways and bridges, and he formerly worked as the design-build project manager at the South Carolina DOT for the new Ravenel Bridge mega-project in Charleston. His responsibilities included budget, schedule, quality, public relations, partner/dispute resolution, and environmental agency coordination.

David Palmer
David Palmer is a principal consultant to Arup. He has extensive U.S. and international experience in the planning, design and construction of major infrastructure projects in rail transit, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, ports and harbors. He has recently been principal-in-charge for the design of Second Avenue Subway and Fulton Street Transit Center in New York City and the Tappan Zee Corridor. He provided construction management for New Jersey Transit new Hudson River tunnels, the California High Speed Rail Los Angeles to Fresno segments, and numerous other projects throughout the Americas.

Operations & Security
Jerry Gluck
Jerry Gluck is a senior manager at AECOM with more than 30 years of experience in transportation planning and traffic engineering. His vast experience comes from both the private and governmental sectors and includes highway operations/planning, access management and system analysis. He has directed major studies including the Long Island Expressway Capacity Improvement Project, and has a unique knowledge of access management from his involvement supporting numerous state DOTs.

Procurement
K. Gunalan
Mr. Gunalan is a vice president of global alternative delivery with AECOM with 30 years of engineering and construction experience throughout North America. He has served on both the owner’s and contractor’s sides in many alternative delivery projects, and most recently as the lead for development of technical requirements for the $1 billion Presidio Parkway public-private partnership project in California.

Peter Matusewitch
Peter Matusewitch is an associate engineer with Arup, with expertise in structural design, rehabilitation, planning studies, cost estimates and inspection of fixed and movable bridges. His strength is in the technical leadership of diverse aspects of planning and design of bridges. He served as the technical coordinator for an Airport Taxiway Bridge in Cancun, Mexico and for two major river crossings on a 42km-long design-build-operate project to extend Autoroute 30 around Montreal, Quebec. The coordination included seismic design, foundations, prestressed concrete beam fabrication issues and environmental issues.

Mark Swatta
Mark Swatta is a market segment director for AECOM’s Alterative Delivery Group and a structural engineer with over 39 years of project delivery experience. His diverse background includes structural analysis, design, and construction and project management capabilities, particularly in the transportation industry. He was recently a project director on Florida’s $1 billion Port of Miami Tunnel public-private partnership project.

Public Outreach
Dr. Arnold Bloch
Dr. Arnold Bloch is the principal in charge of the New York Office of Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates (HSH), and has more than 36 years of experience in the private, public, and academic sectors. At HSH, he has overseen hundreds of public involvement projects, including many projects for state DOTs, and most recently he has been in charge of HSH’s efforts on the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Environmental Review and the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project.

Jennie Granger
Jennie Granger serves as a project manager and planning market segment leader for AECOM. Her focus includes project coordination of major fast-paced National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) projects with extensive public involvement programs. She also specializes in preparation and review of various forms and documentation for NEPA and natural, cultural, and socio-economic resources; coordination of instruction efforts; and preparation and compilation of administrative records for litigation.

Roadway Design Advisors
Philip Cremin
Philip Cremin is currently Assistant Chief Civil Engineer at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. He has over 30 years of experience in civil engineering design at the Port Authority. He has held his current position for the past seven years, overseeing approximately forty staff members. Cremin has worked on the Goethals Bridge and Bayonne Bridge replacement programs and is currently overseeing the civil design for the LaGuardia Redevelopment Program and the Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal A Program. He was on the Port Authority committee responsible for the development of sustainable design guidelines for infrastructure-type projects. In addition, he directs the agency’s pavement management program.

Structural Design Advisors
Jamey Barbas
Jamey Barbas is a design manager for major design build and public-private partnership projects for Hardesty & Hanover. Her 28 years of experience in bridge design, construction and inspection have a special emphasis on complex and long-span suspension bridges. She has worked on many award-winning alternative delivery projects, including acting as the bridge design manager for the major bridges across Autoroute 30 in Montreal, one of the largest public-private partnership bridges in North America.

George Christian
George Christian is currently a transportation quality control engineer with AECOM. He is a structural technical advisor on bridge projects and for design build proposal development, which includes developing design concepts for complex bridges. Before joining AECOM, he had over 38 years of engineering management experience in varied bridge planning, design, construction and evaluation activities in the New York State DOT Office of Structures.

Angus Low
Angus Low is a consultant with Arup with over 30 years of experience with long-span bridges over shipping channels, in a variety of roles as designer, checker, assessor, tender assessor or technical advisor. His extensive experience covers many countries and includes many design build and alternative delivery bridge projects, such as the Hangzhou Bay Bridge in China and the Second Severn Crossing in England and Wales.

Ken Wheeler
Ken Wheeler is a transportation industry director with AECOM with over 35 years of experience in bridge engineering, particularly for major bridge projects. His experience includes particular emphasis on design build projects and encompasses concrete and composite steel cable-stayed, pre-stressed concrete box girder, composite steel box girder and composite steel truss bridges.

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Transportation Nation

NY Legislature Considers 45% Toll Hike for Trucks

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

(Karen Dewitt -- Albany, NY) The New York State Assembly began hearings Wednesday on 45 percent toll increase for trucks supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Several Assembly Republicans, who are in the minority party in that house, held the first of two hearing in Albany proposed by the  State Thruway Authority.

Testimony ranged from a small steel fabrication business owner, who said the additional shipping costs for the toll hike will equal one worker’s salary and benefits, to a representative from the farm lobby. The Farm Bureau’s Julie Suarez says the recent floods and drought have already put farmers in a “a very difficult economic situation.” She says under the proposal, a truck carrying produce from Buffalo to New York City “results in an average year's increase of $11,500 to that farmer’s bottom line”.

The testimony from the farmers, small business owners and trucking companies will not be heard by the Thruway Authority, however. In a letter to the Republican Assemblymembers, Thruway officials said the public comment period is over, and that three public hearings have already been held in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Newburgh, NY. That response angered Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, whose district borders the Hudson River.

“They’re out of touch, they’re a rogue agency, and they need to be reined in,” said McLaughlin. The NY Thruway authority is also in charge of the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, an $5.2 billion infrastructure megaproject that has drawn criticism for a lack of decision-making transparency despite an extended the public comment period.

In a written response, the Executive Director of the Thruway Authority, Tom Madison, says large trucks put “thousands of times more wear and tear on the road” than cars but are currently charged just five times as much as passenger vehicles. He says the toll increase would help remedy that “inequality.” And he says the Authority has already trimmed nearly $400 million from its budget.

Governor Cuomo, who appointed Madison to his post, has not actively opposed the truck toll hike. In his most recent remarks about the tolls, the governor said he’s asked the Authority to trim waste and rectify past mismanagement. But he says it’s complicated, because if their revenues are too low, it could result in a downgrade of their bond rating.

“The bond rating has to be intact, otherwise we’ll have a different set of issues” Cuomo said in mid August.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, a Republican who represents portions of Schenectady and Saratoga, says Cuomo could do more to prevent the toll hike. “The governor’s the 900 pound gorilla,” Tedisco said.

Tedisco says Cuomo spoke up against a proposed $14 toll on a planned new Tappan Zee bridge. He says the governor could do the same for the truck toll proposal.

Governor Cuomo’s fellow Democrats in the Assembly are also now taking on the toll hike issue. The Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions on Wednesday afternoon called a hearing for Friday, and has invited the Thruway Authority’s Madison to testify. A spokeswoman for Committee Chair Assemblyman Jim Brennan says the proposed truck toll increases will be a key focus of the hearing, and thruway officials will be asked if there’s any way the steep toll increase can be mitigated or avoided altogether.

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Transportation Nation

As Cuomo Wins Support for Bridge With No Dedicated Transit Lanes, Funding Request Barrels Forward

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo took to the podium at a marina in Piermont, NY, to talk about building a new Tappan Zee Bridge (in background). (photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY – WNYC) It's going to take at $5.4 billion to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River north of New York City. Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the project a big push Monday by sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, asking for a $2 billion loan. Cuomo inked the request in front of a small crowd at a marina in the riverside town of Piermont, NY, that he might flourish his pen with the old, and beleaguered, Tappan Zee Bridge in the background.

But the new funding plans include no guarantee that the new bridge will have any form of public transportation, aside from a bus lane.

"The Tappan Zee Bridge is a metaphor for dysfunction," Cuomo said before the signing. He claimed the first plans to replace the bridge were developed before the turn of the millennium, as the bridge neared 50 years old.  "Think of all the hours in traffic people have been sitting on the bridge because that hasn't gotten done, how many wasted dollars patching that bridge," he said. "Think of all the pollution."

It took Cuomo many months to get to the moment. Key members of the The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, whose approval was needed before the loan could be requested, balked at a plan for the bridge that included no provision for a mass transit operation beyond a bus: options such as rail, light rail or a Bus Rapid Transit system linking to transportation hubs on either side of the Hudson. Cuomo won the votes of those officials by agreeing to form a task force to examine the issue and come up with recommendations.

There is also the question about where the state will get the rest of the money to pay for the massive construction project.  A Cuomo aide  recently raised the possibility of raising the bridge's $5 toll to $14 when the new bridge opens.  But after an outcry, the governor mounted a pro-bridge public relations plan, and then distanced himself from his own staffer's remarks.  Cuomo is known for running a tightly controlled administration, where subordinates generally don't speak out of turn.

In the Piermont speech, Cuomo merely promised to "keep tolls affordable."

And what if, the press asked Cuomo, the federal government doesn't come through with the loan? "I'm an optimist," he said. "They're going to say, 'yes.'" When asked if tolls would be raised even higher if the loan didn't come through, Cuomo repeated, "They're going to say, 'yes.'" Then repeated it a few more times.

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WNYC News

Board Approves New Tappan Zee Bridge

Monday, August 20, 2012

A transportation board has approved a plan to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

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Transportation Nation

Key Politicians Throw Support Behind Cuomo's Tappan Zee Bridge Plan

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Tappan Zee Bridge (photo by Joseph A. via Flickr)


The county executives of Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties are finally giving their official blessing to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's $5.2 billion plan for a new Tappan Zee Bridge -- now that he's agreed to form a task force to firm up future transit options.

The current bridge plan includes dedicated bus lanes, but no timetable for bus rapid transit on either side of the Hudson River crossing.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says that discussion is now back on the table. "Unless there was going to be some transit options," he said, "this bridge would just have the same old congestion and pollution and problems that the current one does. It would just look shinier."

Astorino has been pushing for a 12-mile BRT corridor. He said that he, Rockland County executive Scott Vanderhoef, and Putnam County executive MaryEllen Odell have been in talks with the governor for a month.

The transit task force will make recommendations within a year.

The county executives sit on a council that must unanimously approve the Tappan Zee Bridge plan to make it eligible for federal funding. That vote had been delayed, but now it is expected to move ahead quickly.

Governor Cuomo has spent the summer lining up local support for the bridge. On Thursday, he sent out a delighted email trumpeting the executives' support.

"Building a new, better bridge to replace the Tappan Zee and ending the dysfunction that has delayed this project for over ten years has been a top priority since I took office,” he said. “County Executives Robert Astorino, Scott Vanderhoef and MaryEllen Odell have consistently supported our efforts to replace the Tappan Zee and I am pleased that they are pledging to vote for our plan to build a safer, transit-ready bridge that will reduce congestion, provide a dedicated bus lane, and create tens of thousands of jobs. We will continue to work with local leaders and stakeholders as we move forward with one of the biggest and most critical infrastructure projects in New York.”

Thursday's announcement also won support from another corner: advocacy group the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which has long been pushing for mass transit options for the new bridge. The group's executive director, Veronica Vanterpool, said in an email that "this bridge project is taking a turn for the better." She added: "A firm commitment from Governor Cuomo’s office for dedicated bus lanes on the span from day one is a real victory that will improve commutes for bus riders and drivers from the day the bridge opens. But, without additional measures for bus rapid transit in the future, the bus lanes themselves will do little to address the mobility needs of the I-287 corridor. This initial investment shows that the governor’s office has moved beyond the rhetoric of “transit-readiness” to a concrete transit provision."

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WNYC News

State Releases Final Report on Environmental Impact of Tappan Zee Bridge

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

New York has just released the final environmental impact statement for its new Tappan Zee Bridge. It includes innovative measures to protect fish and people during the construction of a big new bridge in the New York suburbs.

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Transportation Nation

NY State Releases Final Report on Environmental Impact of New Tappan Zee Bridge

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tappan Zee Bridge (photo by waywuwei via flickr)

New York has just released the final environmental impact statement for its new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The state says over the last six months, it has received over 3,000 public comments about the project, and the EIS document groups them into four categories:  concern about construction impacts (noise/dust/air quality/traffic),the design aesthetics of the new bridge, the construction impact upon the Hudson River environment, and transit capability of the new bridge.

Here are some ways the state says it will deal with the concerns:

  • Construction noise and air quality will be monitored 24/7, and the results will be publicly available online
  • A  "Blue Ribbon Selection Committee" will participate in the design selection -- meaning some members of the public will have input into what the new bridge will look like
  • Dredging will be limited, the discharge of sediment into the river will be minimized, and the state will use "bubble curtains and other technologies to minimize acoustic effects of piles driving on the fish."
  • The bridge will be designed "so that it could accommodate transit in the future."

The report does not include a widely touted plan to turn the old bridge into a greenway. The State Thruway Authority says it will demolish the existing structure.

More later. In the meantime, you can read both the summary and the entire report here. And please comment below to let us know what you think of the report.

 

 

 

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Transportation Nation

LaHood Invites Bids for Enriched Pot of Federal Transpo $, Winks at Tappan Zee Bridge

Friday, July 27, 2012

That's the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background. It spans the Hudson River about 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. At three miles, it is the longest bridge in the state. (photo by digitaltree515 / flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Step right up, we've got money for loans. That was essentially today's message from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to states with large public transportation works in the planning. That includes rebuilding the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, about which LaHood and his chief financial officer spoke positively, if vaguely.

 “We have heard from very high officials in the state of New York about this project and we have directed them to the notice in the federal register,” said LaHood, referring to today's official announcement that the grant money is available.

In February, the state applied for a $2 billion loan for the Tappan Zee Bridge from the U.S. DOT fund known as TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act). But TIFIA turned it down.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has been undeterred. He continues to apply political muscle to the project: this week, he appointed a former TV anchorman as Special Advisor to the The Tappan Zee Bridge. But he has yet to explain how the estimated $5.2 billion cost of the rebuilding will be funded. Given the state's limited finances, it would seem to behoove the governor to scoop up some of that TIFIA cash.

TIFIA functions as the U.S. DOT's infrastructure investment arm. In the past, it has paid for projects like an upgrade to the Staten Island Ferry and an extension to the President George Bush Turnpike in West Texas.

The fund is newly infused with $1.7 billion from the recently enacted federal surface transportation bill. LaHood said that money can be leveraged into $17 billion worth of "loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to major infrastructure projects with the potential to create jobs and spur economic development and growth." That's a big jump up from the last round of $120 million, which was used to dole out $1.2 billion in loans.

U.S. DOT chief financial officer Chris Bertram said the department favors projects that have "a revenue source like a dedicated sales tax or, in the case of the Tappan Zee Bridge, tolls." He said that reassures the department it will be paid back.

Department spokesman Justin Nisly said the sooner a grant application is received, the sooner it will be dealt with. "We will begin evaluating letters of interest immediately, and announcements will be made on a rolling basis."

U.S. DOT will also launch a unit that will help state and local governments figure out how to finance their transportation projects. According to a press release, the Project Finance Center will act as a wise uncle to bureaucrats seeking "to analyze financial options for highway, transit, rail, intermodal and other surface transportation projects facing funding challenges." 

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