Could (and Should) the Tappan Zee Bridge Rebuild Begin Next Year?

Locals, including the Mayor and resident of the Irving neighborhood at the bridge's base, react to the news this morning of the expedited Tappan Zee project.

"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."

Roy October 11, 2011 at 06:37 PM
It would be a tragedy if provision for a rail line wasn't included from the start, even if they don't actually build one initially. Sooner or later it will be a necessity.
Robert Solari October 11, 2011 at 09:26 PM
If and when the bridge work begins the GM site will probably be used as a staging area for the bridge. So that would mean 10 more years before we see any developing on the site. I wonder how much money GM will make on leasing the site?
Bruce Buckley October 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Jobs prospect: appealing. Neighborhood impact: appalling.
Blue October 12, 2011 at 12:26 PM
I doubt the state pays much if anything. They have that eminant domain card in their pocket all the time. Heck if Sleppy Hollow get 10 yrs with thousands of workers , consultants , engineers coming through spending money at local businesses without actually living here and adding to the school system or tax burden I'm all for it. I realize traffic and noise polution will be a factor but its a trade I'd be willing to make. Beside a the rate SH and GM r moving there won't be anything at GM for ten years anyway!!
Blue October 12, 2011 at 01:03 PM
BOB I October 12, 2011 at 03:27 PM
money is on object when obamba buys a voter.
David Cartenuto October 12, 2011 at 06:42 PM
I still do not understand why the new bridge will not be adjacent and immediately south of the existing one. It is a straight line from the curve on the Nyack side to the toll booths on the east side. No demolition required. If the issue is jurisdiction of the Port Authority, shame on them for not being able to negotiate a solution. It would save a lot of money in the rebuild!
Elaine Marranzano October 15, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Mr. Cartenuto, I can answer that questions thanks to a report I heard on NPR. The location of the current bridge, although seemingly illogical since it is the widest point of the river, has to do with money. If the bridge had been constructed south of its current location, it would have fallen under the domain of the Port Authority who would then have been able to collect the revenue. At it's current location, the toll money goes to New York State.


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