NYACK - The new Tappan Zee Bridge project is receiving an influx of cash.

Thruway Authority spokesman Brian Conybeare says a $511 million loan, secured from the little-known State Environmental Facilities Corporation, will be used to boost construction expenses on the new three-mile span. It will also go toward protecting the natural habitats for marine life in the Hudson River.

The loan will be used in part to help pay for projects like the restoration of the Piermont Marsh and the protection of endangered sturgeon and oyster beds. It will be paid to the Tappan Zee Constructors alongside with the $1.6 billion federal TIFIA loan the builders have already received.

State officials say the loan will also keep tolls down on the span by reducing interest rates and financing costs for $3.9 billion project.

The State Thruway Authority could start collecting on the loan as early as August.