Petition drive to change Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge back to the Tappan Zee

TARRYTOWN, New York (WABC) -- More than 40,000 people have signed a petition to strip Mario Cuomo's name off the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connects Rockland and Westchester Counties.

Local residents started a petition to change the name back to the Tappan Zee.

They say, while the former Governor may be deserving of something named after him, it should not be at the expense of history or taxpayers.

Monroe Mann, a Port Chester resident who posted the petition on, wants the new bridge to keep its old Tappan Zee name rather than honoring the current Democratic governor's father.

The petition says "it sounds cool to say, 'I'm taking the Tappan Zee" and not cool "to say, 'I'm taking the Cuomo.'"

Cuomo spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer said that naming the bridge after Mario Cuomo "is a fitting tribute to a life-long public servant who achieved great things for the people of New York."

The new bridge project was launched by the Thruway Authority in 2013 to replace the 62-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, a critical link in the Northeast U.S. highway system.

The Tappan Zee had served as the poster child for crumbling infrastructure. President Barack Obama used it as a backdrop in 2014 when he asked Congress for more infrastructure funding.

The 3-mile bridge linking Westchester County to the New York State Thruway across the widest point in the Hudson is one of the largest public infrastructure projects underway in the U.S. and a model of the latest engineering.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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