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'Pop Would Not Have Liked This,' Says Chris Cuomo About New TZB Official Name

Chris Cuomo Photo Credit: @ChrisCuomo
The new sign goes up. Photo Credit: Gov. Andew Cuomo/Flickr
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his mother, Matilda Cuomo look over the plaque that bears Mario Cuomo's name. Photo Credit: Governor Andrew Cuomo/Flickr

The name of the new Tappan Zee Bridge has stirred up controversy in the Cuomo family as well as with plenty of residents who have gone so far as to petition for the old name to remain.

Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?
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Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?

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  • The new bridge shouldn't be named after any person

Chris Cuomo, a CNN anchor and younger brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, took to Instagram to say he had mixed emotions when the old sign came down and the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge sign went up on Friday.

"Pop would not have liked this," Chris Cuomo wrote. "He would’ve loved the new bridge. ... He was a big believer in updating infrastructure. But he was very humble and thought having something named after him sent the wrong message about public service, that is supposed to be about we, not me."

Cuomo, who did not attend Friday's lavish celebration to open the second span, went on to say that he was unusually objective about his brother and his father, but the bridge being named after his father caused him both pain and pride: "Pride about Pop making a difference for people who needed help and the pain of knowing - if his name is up there, it reminds that he is not down here with me."

Chris Cuomo, who is 12 years Andrew's junior, cited the history of the name "Tappan Zee," saying Tappan was "an Indian tribe from the area", and “Zee” is "the Dutch word for sea (even though it spans a river)."

Controversy has surrounded the name change since the governor managed to tack it to another bill and push that bill through in the middle of the night.

Since that time more than 100,000 residents have signed a petition to keep the old name. 

At the end of the day Friday, the name didn't really matter when safety came to the forefront as the opening was nixed due to a serious stabilization issue with the old bridge. 

The new bridge second span is slated to open Tuesday beginning around 8 p.m. 

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