Buffalo, N.Y. - This week, a major credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's, downgraded the bonds of the state Thruway Authority.
The reason: uncertainty over how much tolls will increase to pay for a new $3.9 billion dollar Tappan Zee Bridge. The bridge is located north of New York City, hundreds of miles away from Western New York.
In announcing the downgrade, Standard and Poor's said that the authority will likely rely on "frequent rate increases in the foreseeable future."
So, does that mean Western New Yorkers will help pay for the bridge in the way of increased Thruway tolls?
2 On Your Side spoke Friday with the Thruway Authority's Vice Chairwoman, Donna Luh of Lancaster, who says that the new bridge will be paid for solely through increased tolls on the bridge itself.
Donna Luh: "The tolls on the bridge will pay for the bridge. We will not be collecting tolls from upstate New York to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge. I just want to reassure everyone because I hear it all the time 'oh we'll be increasing tolls around the state for this project,' we will not be doing that."
State senator George Maziarz says he's already been in touch with both the Thruway Authority and the Governor's office to tell them that Thruway tolls around the state should not be going up to pay for the bridge.
Scott Brown: "How can you guarantee that Western New Yorkers won't wind up paying for this?"
State Sen.George Maziarz: "One of two ways, we're either going to have to get it in writing basically from the Thruway Authority, or we're going to have to pass legislation which would prevent that from happening and I believe we can do that."