ALBANY - A longtime friend of Mario Cuomo would prod the three-term governor from time to time, trying to get an idea of what the Queens native would one day want to see named in his honor.

"I just want a stickball court in a little alley in Queens," Cuomo would say, according to William O'Shaughnessy, the longtime Westchester County radio executive who shared a nearly four-decade friendship with the late governor.

Now, more than two years after his death, Cuomo's name is destined for something far grander than an outer-borough alley, thanks in large part to some late-night, closed-door deal-making at the state Capitol.

The $4 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River will now be known as The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge after the state Legislature approved the naming Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo's son and the main driver of the effort, signed the bill Thursday.