Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) issued the following statement after the NY State Thruway Authority selected the Tappan Zee Constructors’ proposal for a replacement Tappan Zee Bridge.

“I am glad the Thruway Authority Executive Board chose the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement which is the least expensive, and has a lesser environmental impact on our region. I have said for many years that this should be the method chosen. I am pleased to see that this option allows for the later addition of mass transit … as I believe this is important to commuters. I have been working on bringing about a new bridge for the last 10 years, and it is very promising to see progress being made. A new bridge is not only necessary for transportation, but will be a boon for economic development in the entire Hudson Valley region,” said Rep. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

According to information provided by NY State, the proposal offers the following:

• Best price for toll payers at $3.142 billion
• Shortest construction time of 5 years
• The least dredging on the Hudson River at 951,000 cubic yards
• Built to last over 100 years without needing major repairs
• Reduces congestion on the bridge with 8 traffic lanes and 4 emerg/breakdown lanes
• Includes a bike and pedestrian path
• Built to accommodate future bus rapid transit and rail transit options

“We have known for a long time that a new bridge would be necessary and it is good news for the people of New York to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel,” added Rep. Engel.

David Fried to run for County Exec
Late last month, Spring Valley Village Justice David Fried confirmed his intention to resign his judgeship to enter the race for County executive on the Democratic line. State law does not allow a sitting judge to run for political office

Fried joins a crowded field; three other announced candidates, Republican County Legislator Ed Day, Democratic County Legislator Ilan Schoenburger, and Democratic Mayor of Suffern, Dagan Lacorte, are all vying for the job of County Executive, being vacated by Scott Vanderhoef.

Fried is from Spring Valley. He was a member of the Rockland County Legislature from 2003 to 2007. He unsuccessfully challenged Ellen Jaffe for a seat on the state Assembly and, in 2009, became a Spring Valley village justice. In prepared remarks, he said he has been endorsed for County Executive by Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Former Town Supervisor Thom Kleiner, Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White, South Nyack Mayor Tish Dubow, County Legislator Nancy Low-Hogan, and Former County Legislators Denise Kronstadt & Connie Coker.