The Senate gave final approval Thursday afternoon on legislation that includes a measure to rename the currently under-construction Tappan Zee Bridge after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s late father Mario Cuomo.
The proposal to rename the new bridge The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was part of a 72-page bill that included measures to extend more than $1.8 billion in local taxes and alter a Lake Ontario flood-relief package.
The late Cuomo was governor from 1983 to 1994 and died in 2015.
The younger Cuomo has prided himself on seeing through the construction of the new bridge despite push back due to the $4 billion cost. He urged lawmakers to rename the still-under-construction Hudson River span as well as a park and a highway.
There are mixed feelings about renaming the bridge after the late Cuomo. It is currently named after former Gov. Malcolm Wilson, whose name was added to the bridge in 1994 upon the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor’s office, making its official name The Governor Malcolm Wilson–Tappan Zee Bridge. Wilson was raised in Yonkers and represented the area in the Assembly for two decades, according to Lohud.
While there was some positive reaction to the renaming, two Assembly Republicans spoke out against removing Wilson’s name. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin of Rensselaer County also accused the Governor of feeding his own ego. Wilson’s daughter was also among the people upset about the change.
According to Lohud, McLaughlin said he, as well as other opponents of the renaming, were forced to vote in favor of the bill since the local tax extenders were tied in.
The bill passed by an unofficial vote of 115-15.
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