ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge that connects Rockland and Westchester counties could be subject to change, but we’re not talking repairs. The 3.1-mile long bridge could have its original name reinstated to the Tappan Zee Bridge, named for the Native American Tappan people who once lived in the area.
In 2017, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo renamed the bridge after his late father. Democratic State Sen. James Skoufis, who’s sponsored a bill to change the name, said many people who live in the Hudson Valley still call the bridge the Tappan Zee.
“This is not about rejecting Mario Cuomo as a former governor, and finding some bridge or a highway or tunnel to dedicate to him and his service, this is about restoring a name that many people feel was stolen,” he said.
Several years ago, the bridge was rebuilt with a $4 billion design known as one of the largest bridge projects in New York history. Could a name change cost taxpayers?
“Some signs would have to be replaced, now I don’t know… it’s even possible that the Thruway and the DOT, they still have the old signs in which case, you know, it would be very easy to just swap it back in, but that would be the only cost,” explained Skoufis.
This same legislation was introduced earlier by a Republican senator, but it was never brought to the floor.
“You know, I don’t know why it never made it to the floor, but you know I’m in the majority party, he was not, so I’m hopeful that that provides maybe a new opportunity to be able to advance the bill,” said Skoufis.