Governor Andrew Cuomo and gubernatorial rival Rob Astorino held dueling Hudson River press conferences today, Cuomo mid-river and Astorino on the east bank. Governor Cuomo lauded the arrival of a giant crane, dubbed the “Left Coast Lifter” and redubbed the “I Lift NY”, which will be used for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge and demolition of the old.
After making remarks on the rear deck of the ferry with the crane and the bridge behind him, Governor Cuomo held a press gaggle inside the ferry. Camera operators and reporters (well, me at least) periodically lurched about, rolling with motion of the ferry as the governor leaned on a pole, made an opening statement on the “design/build” process used for the bridge and on a proposed “infrastructure bank” and answered questions. Question topics included the expected new bridge tolls, a toll and finance task force expected to have already been created, whether it’s “overtly political” to not announce new tolls before the November election, whether there continues to be a $3.9 billion cap on the bridge cost, two Hudson Valley state senate races, how the crane was named, ebola and whether he anticipates limiting travelers into New York and Amtrak’s announced plan to close four tunnels for lengthy repair work. Here is his full gaggle:
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino held a press conference shortly after Cuomo’s, just upriver from the Tappan Zee. He was joined by Rockland County Executive Ed Day and three Republican legislative candidates. After an opening statement Astorino answered press questions including use of bank settlement money to fund the construction and why not use tolls to finance the new bridge, how he would pay for other infrastructure projects, whether Astorino is certain that Cuomo will not use bank settlement money for the new bridge, what he expects the new bridge tolls to be, whether local residents should pay reduced tolls, whether Rep. Nita Lowey is working with the two county executives, what he would do differently on other infrastructure projects and why he declined a radio debate invitation. Here is his full Q&A.