Democrat now main sponsor of bill seeking to change Cuomo Bridge back to Tappan Zee, NY Post reports

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Democrat now main sponsor of Cuomo Bridge name change bill
Some lawmakers are calling for the name of the Mario Cuomo Bridge to be changed to the name of the bridge it replaced: the Tappan Zee Bridge. Marcus Solis has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There's a renewed push to rename the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge as the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Legislation to do just that has been introduced by Republicans in recent years but has thus far failed to gain enough traction.

This year, however, according to the New York Post, the measure has the backing of Democratic State Senator James Skoufis of Orange County, who will become the first-ever Democratic lead sponsor for the legislation in the Senate.

When the $4 billion Hudson River span opened in 2018 alongside the remnants of the aging Tappan Zee, Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally named the new bridge after his father.

But after Cuomo's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations, the measure has seen growing support among state lawmakers to change the name.

And if you ask anyone who regularly drives across the span connecting Westchester and Rockland counties, they'll tell you they still refer to it as the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The original bridge used the term for the area coined by Dutch settlers incorporating the name of the local native tribe and the word for the sea.

Skoufis said his bill is not meant to slight the former three term governor and that the change wouldn't even require much signage because the original name has just been covered over.

"There was no public input, there was no feedback outreach and if they had done that outreach they would have heard, the governor's office, that people did not want the name to change. And so we're trying to right this wrong with this bill," Skoufis said.

Current Governor Kathy Hochul was non-committal about the change Tuesday.

"I know there's a lot of voices being heard on this, for and against changing the name, and my position is something has to pass the legislation before it gets my attention," Hochul said.

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