Officials eye creative ways to finance new Tappan Zee

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Westchester lawmakers held a transportation summit Friday to discuss ways to finance the new $9.3 billion Tappan Zee Bridge amid a troubled economy.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli called the costly construction project "an urgent need."

?We know the crisis won't last forever, and we need to put options in play so we'll be ready to go when things get better,? he said.

The Friday meeting comes on the heels of a preliminary report released by the New York State Department of Transportation, which states that the cost of a new bridge could exceed traditional state and federal financing capacities.

Officials say innovative funding, including public and private partnerships, will be essential in building the bridge.

In the spirit of thinking outside the box, the New York State DOT has been looking at similar projects from New Jersey to China for ideas on how to fund the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

For interviews on the future of the Tappan Zee Bridge project, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Channel 612.

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