Plans For New Tappan Zee Bridge Unveiled; Many Say Mass Transit Component Needed

TARRYTOWN, NY (CBSNewYork) — State transportation officials got an earful Tuesday night that the new Tappan Zee Bridge needs a mass transit component.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

The first of two public comment periods was held in Tarrytown where officials unveiled the plans for the new Tappan Zee.

The current design calls for twin, four lane spans, one heading to Rockland and the other heading to Westchester.

But many say the plans need to include some form of a mass transit component.

“There’s no rail service, there’s no rapid bus service as a component of the new bridge and I think that’s very, very short-sided,” said Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.

Kate Slevin with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, agrees.

“All the studies over the past decade or so have indicated that public transportation should be added to the bridge,” she said.

Though adding mass transit would increase the cost of the project, Slevin says it would be worth the investment.

“By not building that public transportation competent now, we’re really hindering the growth of Westchester and Rockland counties,” she said.

Transportation experts said the new bridge will be built to last 100 years. The Obama administration fast tracked the project two weeks ago.

State officials say it could be under construction by October 2012 and open by 2017.  The cost of the project is about $5.2 billion.

The next is scheduled public meeting is Thursday night in Nyack.

Do you think mass transit should be included in the bridge’s plans? Sound off below in our comments section…

More from Peter Haskell
  • Cindy Peterson-Dana

    Yes – a transit lane is good for New York, good for people, good for the environment, good for property values! Say yes to mass transit!

  • Chuck

    it looks like a 19th Century design. We’re becoming a Third World Country.

  • diver

    One person I heard said it the best. They are replacing a 1950’s bridge with a 1950’s bridge.

  • VY

    A motor vehicles only bridge will be out dated the day it opens. Without a Metro North Hudson Line connection going west over the new bridge and connecting with the West Shore Line, the Spring Valley Line and at Suffern the Port Jervis Line, the bridge will never move the high numbersw of people it will need to move. As far as the added cost goes, if you are serious about building a bridge for the next 100 years, look to past history. 140 years ago a bridge was projected to cost $1 million and 5 years to construct. It took 15 to 20 times that much and 3 to 4 times that long to complete. 128 years since it opened the Brooklyn Bridge is still carrying traffic over the East River, at much higher volumes than were even dreamed about back then. Was it worth it in time and money to build and complete that bridge.
    If you are serious about building a bridge for the next 100 years, build it to serve the numbers of people (not necessarily only those people in motor vechicles) who will still be needing to cross it in the 23rd Century.
    That means adding rail.
    The added cost spread over 100 years will be small compared to the economic benefits.

  • Jason Sapan

    This bridge is already obsolete as it represents a net zero gain in lanes of traffic. The current bridge allows 4 lanes of traffic in the direction of rush hour. These 4 lanes result in huge traffic jams. The new bridge is supposed to last a century. Does anyone think there will be zero population growth in that time or even in the next decade? How will building a replacement that has the same number of lanes plan ahead for growth? How far will the traffic have to back up before someone recognizes this? Mass transit is always nice, but it is an adjunct function not the primary purpose of an interstate.

    Second, why can’t this bridge actually look beautiful as do many bridges around the world. Are we so complacent as to allow the least attractive possibility dominate the Hudson Valley for the next century while we have an opportunity to make this span the visually stunning technological design it should be? Just who is the genius in charge here?


    You can’t build ANY new metropolitan infrastructure like the Tappan Zee without mass transit – in fact the balance should be tipped IN FAVOR or mass transit to
    force single vehicle trips off the roads.

    • Jason Sapan

      This is an interstate highway with cars and trucks coming from coast to coast not just a local bridge connecting two counties. I have no problem with accommodating mass transit. But that should not preclude using a little common sense in also recognizing that this bridge fails in its primary mission of having sufficient current capacity to mitigate the current traffic congestion. A total of 8 lanes is insufficient now and will seem even more idiotic in a decade when everyone wants to know who was asleep at the wheel when this structure was designed with no consideration for growth or design.

  • CBSNeedsMoreAnalysis

    “The Obama administration fast tracked the project two weeks ago.” And the Republicans will block it. Think “overreach”, an argument that they like to use. So, all these hearings are a waste of time. Maybe the State can get creative and hand the project off to the Port Authority or to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority. And maybe they can build a tunnel, instead. It may cost more, but it will last longer (I doubt that the existing bridge was expected to last LESS than 100 years). And extend the tunnel to I-287 east of Tarrytown, to reduce pollution, which will, also, save money, in the long run.

    • t dubs

      the current bridge was expected to last only 50 years, due to the fact it was built during a supply shortage era

  • just asking

    Short sided? I think you meant short sighted. Not very good editing.

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