Fight over bridge name: Is it the Tappan Zee or Mario Cuomo?

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Thousands of New Yorkers want to resurrect the name of the Tappan Zee Bridge as the moniker for its modern replacement, now known as the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

There’s a big obstacle: current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose administration built the new $4 billion Hudson River span that bears his father’s name. Lawmakers approved the name last year. Cuomo has called efforts to remove Mario’s name “personally hurtful.”

A petition supporting Tappan Zee has nearly 110,000 signatures. One supporter, Westchester County grandmother Theresa Westmoreland, says the old name should be preserved for history’s sake. “Tappan” refers to a nearby Native American group while “Zee” is Dutch for sea.

The issue may be moot for many. Local Assemblyman Tom Abinanti says nearly everyone he talks to still uses the old name.