New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reshuffled two of the state's biggest transportation leadership roles.
Cuomo Tuesday appointed Matthew Driscoll, the state’s Department of Transportation commissioner, as the New York State Thruway Authority's new executive director, replacing Bill Finch, who spent 14 months in the position. The Democratic governor also announced that Cathy Calhoun, chief of staff at the Department of Transportation, will be acting DOT commissioner.
Finch, a former Bridgeport, Conn. mayor and Connecticut state senator, was tapped by Cuomo as Thruway Authority executive director in June 2016. Cuomo said last year that Finch would be a key force leading the Thruway Authority on a $3.9 billion replacement of the 62-year Tappan Zee Bridge scheduled to open in 2018.
"Bill Finch is a talented, dedicated leader and he is currently pursuing a new role to continue his state service, which will be announced at the appropriate time," Cuomo spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer said in a statement.
Cuomo did not give a reason for Fitch's exit. Finch and the Thruway Authority were not immediately available for comment. Driscoll’s appointment is subject to state Senate approval this January.
In his role of transportation commissioner, Driscoll helped launch Cuomo’s $100 billion five-year plan to modernize the state’s infrastructure. Driscoll, a former Syracuse mayor, was previously president and CEO of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
The Thruway Authority oversees and maintains the 570-mile New York State Thruway system and since 1992 has controlled the 524-mile New York State Canal System. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an audit last November noting concerns about the authority’s revenue keeping up with roadway and canal maintenance costs.
New York State Thruway Authority bonds are rated A2 by Moody’s Investors Service and A by S&P Global Ratings. The agency issued an $850 million bond transaction last year to help finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland counties.