Tolls expected to rise on new Tappan Zee Bridge

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TARRYTOWN -

As the opening of the new Tappan Zee Bridge nears, commuters are left to wonder how much it will cost to cross it.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says there won't be an increase for at least three years, but after that, it is anyone’s guess.

It is hard to say how big the hike will be, if and when it happens, since the Thruway Authority has yet to reveal the full picture of its financial plan.

"I’ve always said the governor gets credit for pushing this across the finish line. Now we just need to know how he is going to pay for it and what the tolls are gonna be, which he has kept very quiet," says Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

While the governor has promised the current $5 toll will stay put through 2020, the possibility of tripling it to $15 was raised a few years back. 

The thought of a $15 toll sends shivers through the spines of the county executives on both sides of the bridge. “That's a big burden on a lot of people,” says Astorino. "It would be an enormous hit on this economy,” adds Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “A consumer looking to go from Connecticut or Westchester looking to go to a place called the Palisades Center Mall, which provides 23 percent of our sales tax revenue, may opt to go to Ridge Hill, which is 10 miles south," says Day.

Albany sources tell News 12 that a range of $7 to $12 is a better possible price range for the tolls.

Gov. Cuomo's office released a statement on the tolls saying, "Governor Cuomo is setting a national example and building a new, state-of-the-art bridge for all New Yorkers. We have been crystal clear that the bridge would be paid for with $2 billion in settlement funds dedicated to Thruway, Thruway bonds, and a $1.6 billion TIFIA loan – and numerous options exist to finance any future costs and minimize the impact on toll-payers."

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