"The devil will be in the details," said Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell in reaction to this morning's news that the .
"It is something of a surprise, since there has been virtually no news nor serious discussions identifying funding sources in many months," Fixell said of the estimated $16 billion project and this anticipated $3 billion federal contribution. "I don't really know enough to say whether construction could begin next year."
Tori Weisel, President of the Irving Neighborhood Assocation which has been very involved in the long life of this planning phase, was skeptical. "We'll wait and see," she said. "We've watched for the last 13, 14 years and it has gone back and forth and back and forth. We've done this dance for a long time."
Even with federal support, there's still that $13 billion for the State to raise in a tough economic climate.
For Weisel, getting the federal money and tighter deadlines might demand a simplified bridge design that would impact her neighborhood less than the current vision of the eight lanes of train-bus-pedestrian-bike-vehicle traffic. With that grand-scale design, "they'll tunnel through our neighborhood and wipe out my street basically."
Either way, communities on both sides of the bridge will be changed forever. "The bridge is so much more than a structure in the water," Weisel said.
The Mayor thought that high-speed rail was unlikely to happen any time soon. "It's difficult for me to imagine that the train option would be constructed initially, as the cost per passenger served is enormous and there were still many unanswered questions and potential roadblocks, particularly those related to community impacts," he said. "How Tarrytown will be affected will depend on the specific details."