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As an advocate for initiatives that will strengthen the economy, The Business Council
of Westchester has taken a leadership role in literally dozens of important economic issues. One that stands out has been the Business Council’s advocacy for the replacement of the aging and vitally important Tappan Zee Bridge. For more then 10 years The Business Council was in the forefront of the efforts that culminated in Governor Cuomo’s dramatic push to begin construction last year on a new bridge. This $3.14 billion mega-transportation project will create 35,000 direct and indirect jobs and is the most significant infrastructure project in the nation.
In 2013, the project achieved numerous accomplishments including;
Advancing from preconstruction to installation of permanent pilings for the new
Created 600 local jobs and developed relationships with 500 businesses.
Installed a first-of-its-kind public Environmental Monitoring System.
Completed 3 months of dredging to make way for heavy construction equipment.
Closed on a record-setting $1.6 Billion TIFIA loan.
As the first year of the construction of the new bridge has started the on-going efforts of the Business Council in support of theproject will not come to an end. This year there will be funding and other initiatives related to the project that will be before the State Legislature and other state agencies, and federal agencies. There remains much work to be done to ensure that the project stays on schedule. The Business Council will work closely with the Governor’s office, the State Thruway Authority and other involved agencies to be assured that the necessary support is in place to keep the project moving.
Getting The Business Council’s members involved in this historic project will continue to be a top priority for Council President and CEO Marsha Gordon. The Business Council played a key role in the efforts to conduct the studies of the existing bridge that ultimately led to the conclusion that building a new bridge was the best action to take. Despite what today may appear to be an obvious need for a new bridge, over the years there was considerable push-back from different sectors of the community who raised many legitimate concerns that had to be systematically addressed for the project to advance. The Business Council, working with other supporting organizations, conducted forums, presentations, discussions and educational outreach necessary to work through environmental and other critical issues. Over the last year, The Business Council has held meetings to introduce their members to the first-class team of builders that were selected to construct this project.
The new bridge with its new twin spans will be mass transit ready and will be sturdier and safer when it is completed in 2018. Most importantly, ir will allow for a much higher volume of transportation activity, leading to more economic growth in Westchester. The Business Council of Westchester is proud to have taken a leadership role in getting the project to where it is today.
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