Hudson Valley News
12:15 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Tappan Zee Plans Move Forward: Environmentalists Await More Info

Governor Andrew Cuomo expects environmental groups to favor the recommended option for building a new Tappan Zee bridge, one that calls for less dredging than planners originally believed would be needed. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The initiative to restore or replace the 56-year old bridge spanning the Hudson between Tarrytown and Nyack has languished for more than a decade: Governor Cuomo has placed the Tappan Zee on his administration's front burner.

Of three proposals for a new bridge, the top contender reportedly would dredge about 951,000 cubic yards of sediment from the river, half the amount noted in the project’s environmental study and much less than plans submitted by two other design teams.

Cuomo said last week  “The environmental groups, especially the river environmental groups, will find it very attractive that it does less dredging.” The Tappan Zee project that would involve digging up 175 acres of river bottom and threatening fish and other life in the Hudson. Spokeswomen for Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson explain that activists have little idea what any of the bridge plans entail, so they are taking a wait-and-see attitude for now.

The toll bridge some 20 miles north of Manhattan, carries more than 138,000 vehicles every day between Westchester and Rockland counties, 40 percent more than its designers intended.

The Tappan Zee project that would involve digging up 175 acres of river bottom and threatening fish and other life in the Hudson.

Project documents put most of the planned dredging north of the existing bridge, with digging to occur in three, three-month phases over the course of four years. In the fifth and final year of construction there would be no dredging. All of the proposals came in at less than the anticipated $5 billion price. The recommended option’s price was $3.1 billion.

Calls to the Cuomo Administration were not returned in time for broadcast. The state Thruway Authority is expected to vote in favor of one of the three designs on December 17th.

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