Tappan Zee Bridge Question-And-Answer Sessions Next Week

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Officials will discuss the Tappan Zee Bridge design-build plan in two meetings next week.
Officials will discuss the Tappan Zee Bridge design-build plan in two meetings next week. Photo Credit: New York State

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Two public hearings with the Tappan Zee Bridge design-build team have been scheduled, New York State Thruway Authority officials announced Wednesday evening.

Community residents will hear about the bridge plan on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Nyack High School in Upper Nyack.

Representatives from Tappan Zee Constructors, the design-build team; the Thruway Authority; and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office will present the bridge design and answer questions from residents.

“The only way a project of this magnitude can be successful is if everyone involved has their voice heard,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These meetings will be an incredibly useful tool in achieving this goal, for both the design-build team and the general public.”

Bridge plans include building two parallel structures about 300 feet north of the existing bridge. Each span will have four lanes of traffic, emergency lanes and shoulders. A pedestrian and bike path will be on the northern span.

The bridge will cost an estimated $3.1 billion, with construction beginning in 2013. There will not be a mass-transit system in place when the bridge opens, although a task force has been created to look into the issue throughout 2013.

The Thruway Authoriy has not yet released a financial plan to pay for the bridge, although officials have said they will look at tolls, selling bonds and a federal transportation loan.

“From the inception of this project, one of our key directives has been for all involved to make the design-build process as transparent as possible,” Chairperson Howard Milstein said. “These meetings, along with other initiatives like the Visual Quality Panel, will ensure that the voices of those most affected by this project will be heard.”

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Comments (4)

There are 4 meetings this coming week; 2 are the usual window dressing, and 2 are very important. Monday and Tuesday are the usual con jobs; Wednesday and Thursday, the 6th and 7th from 2 - 6 pm, are the legally required hearings on the Draft Permit from the D.E.C. needed for the bridge project to go forward. This is our last chance to stop this environmental disaster. So if anyone can attend only 1 meeting, skip the sales talk and defend the environment.

A few of the environmental negatives of the bridges project include lack of any rail component, lack of any air quality improvement, lack of any proper disposal site for the dredging, lack of any assurance that the 2 tightest curves on the Thruway will not result in multiple truck accidents, lack of any commitment to contain and properly dispose of the usual road runoff, lack of any analysis of the visual blight of nearly 7 miles of bridges across the river, lack of any noise analysis during or after construction, lack of any regional traffic analysis including traffic relief on I-95, lack of any analysis of the freight rail intrusion along both banks of the Hudson caused by trains going from Tarrytown to West Nyack, lack of any analysis of the fuel wasted by this 250-mile train detour, lack of any analysis of the fuel savings available from truck on train, lack of any financial plan with possible consequences to other needed infrastructure projects. There are many other lacks. Please attend these environmental meetings - this is our last chance to stop the bridges and instruct the Governor that the Tappan Long Island tunnel will solve all the above problems, can be built rapidly and inexpensively, and will restore the Hudson River and the Villages.


We greatly appreciate that there will be a pedestrian and bicycle path on the new bridge, restoring the only crossing between the GWB and Bear Mountain Bridges.
However, the state has no plans to make any traffic changes beyond the land ends of the path to safely get to and from the bridge onto the local roads. There will be no safe way to connect to the regional walking - hiking - cycling trails near the bridge.

The biggest safety problem: The South County/North County/Putnam Rail Trail is only 2.5 miles east of the TZB in Elmsford, connected by Route 119. The Putnam Trail is a high quality bicycle greenway, running non-stop 55 miles from NYC - Van Cortlandt Park to Brewster in Putnam County. NYC is about an hours bike ride from the TZB. There will be massive bicycle ridership between the bridge and the Rail Trail.

However, Route 119 has no shoulder, no bike lane, no off-road bike path, only a narrow outside traffic lane that cyclists will have to "share" with buses and trucks and commuters. There is space along this road to reorganize the roadway lanes to create a 5-6 foot wide bike lane on each side. If necessary some of the center landscaped median space, and bits of the edge of the road can be used to widen the paved area to add the bike shoulder. No new land needs to be taken.

There are not even any plans for pedestrian crossing signals at Route 9 to get from the TZB path to the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail that is only a block away or a safe route for walking/cycling from the path to the nearby Tarrytown Rail Station.

These are serious life safety problems for non motorized traffic right at each end of the bridge, and there is time for these problems to be addressed during the design-build process. Low cost, but effective improvements can be designed and installed to be ready for the bridge's opening, if they plan and budget for them now.

We don't want to wait until pedestrians and cyclists are being killed on Routes 9 and 119 before the improvement are made.

The New Design certainly looks like side by side letter "H"'s HH I guess this is for Henry Hudson.

We've had other readers say it looks like the Honda logo or a pair of chopsticks, but I like your idea. Gives a nod to local history.