With Cuomo resignation, will Tappan Zee Bridge be renamed?

Renaming the Tappan Zee Bridge for his late father, Mario, was one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proudest achievements.

Now, in the wake of his resignation amid sexual harassment allegations Tuesday, many are asking if the famous span should have the Cuomo name scrubbed off.

As recently as this week, lawmakers and residents were calling for the $4 billion bridge — officially named the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge after the former governor — to have its original name reinstated.

They argued the bridge should not be tainted with the Cuomo name after the scathing state attorney general report that accused the governor of sexual harassment.

The bridge was officially renamed after former Gov. Mario Cuomo via a state law passed back in 2017, when an insistent Andrew Cuomo cut a deal with lawmakers.

That means any future name changes can only occur if lawmakers repeal it.

Assemblyman Mike Lawler introduced legislation last week calling for the bridge to have its previous name back.

Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge.
The Tappan Zee Bridge was replaced by the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in 2017.
Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

“I urge each and every one of my colleagues in the Assembly to back this piece of legislation that will remove the stain of Andrew Cuomo’s name from the Tappan Zee Bridge,” Lawler said in a statement.

“No one should have to drive over one of the finest pieces of architecture in our state and be reminded of the unforgivable sins of our governor.”

The bridge is considered one of Cuomo’s major achievements during his stint as governor but it has long been shrouded in controversy.

Mario Cuomo.
Mario Cuomo served as governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.
AP

A series of petitions started by local residents have circulated over the years begging lawmakers to change the bridge’s name back to Tappan Zee.

One petition garnered nearly 166,000 signatures.

Those residents argued the name was historic give the “Tappan” referred a Native American group that lived nearby and “Zee” is Dutch for sea.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo drives a 1955 Chevrolet Corvette.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that renaming the Tappan Zee Bridge after his father is one of his proudest achievements.
Alamy Stock Photo

After Cuomo was elected in 2010, he started championing replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge between Rockland and Westchester counties in what would become a major infrastructure project.

In 2017, part of the new bridge opened and Cuomo started pushing lawmakers to change its name in honor of his late father.

The deal went ahead — much to the anger of some Hudson Valley residents — and the second portion of the bridge opened the following year.

Andrew Cuomo.
Critics have argued that the bridge should not be tainted with the Cuomo name after the scathing state AG report against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
James Messerschmidt

At the time, Cuomo dismissed the push to change the name back as politically motivated.

“I believe it’s mean. I believe it’s vindictive. But this is the political environment we are in,” he said of the campaign back in 2017.

“My father was governor for 12 years in the state of New York. I think he is respected by Democrats and Republicans all across the board.”

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