The new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge will have a new name: The Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The state Legislature approved a bill on Thursday that will name the bridge after the three-term New York governor. The bill was signed the same day by Mario Cuomo’s son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who led the charge for the renaming. Mario Cuomo died in 2015, he served as governor from 1983 through 1994.
The name change was approved in an extraordinary legislative session, called to settle a number of issues before the end of the legislative term. Included in the same bill was a two-year extension of mayoral control of the New York City public schools and extending sales taxes in more than 50 counties for three years.
The bridge is currently called The Governor Malcolm Wilson–Tappan Zee Bridge. Both the Tappan Zee name and honor to the late Wilson are dropped in the new title.
In a press conference following the passage of the Legislation, Cuomo acknowledged that his father might have said he didn’t want a bridge named after him. He noted that his father had refused to sit for a governor’s portrait to hang in the state Capitol, calling it “an exercise in vanity.”
“So on that line of reasoning, I’m sure if you said, ‘Would you like to see a bridge named after you?’ he would say no,” Andrew Cuomo said. “However, he did have a deep respect for the institution of government and government service. While he was alive the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was named for Gov. Hugh Carey and he thought that was very appropriate and proper, and that people who make a contribution to public service should be held up as a model.”