NY State Releases Environmental Impact Statement On New Tappan Zee Bridge

NYACK, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) — Thousands of commuters use it every day and now New York State is taking another step toward construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

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The state released its environmental impact statement on Tuesday. It finds building a new bridge would not increase pollution to the Hudson River and found air quality might improve because of better traffic flow.

As for wildlife, the report says the project would have little effect on most creatures in the water, on the land or in the air.

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But nine homeowners in Nyack would lose their properties in the more than $5 billion project which could start by August.

“Now that we understand the environmental effects of reconstructing the bridge, it is time to start laying out real construction plans,” said state Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald.

The draft environmental impact statement was made public as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s speeded-up effort to get construction started this year. Cuomo’s office said Tuesday the project is expected to create more than 23,000 jobs.

In October, President Barack Obama declared the bridge eligible for fast-tracked federal approvals. Though the project has been discussed for a decade, this is the first time it has gotten to the environmental impact statement stage.

Construction is expected to take up to five and a half years and was downsized so it could be fast-tracked by the Obama administration as a priority project. That means there will be no special mass transit features. Its possible bus lanes or train tracks could be added in the future.

Comments on the draft environmental impact will be accepted until March 15, and public hearings will be held in Westchester and Rockland Counties in late February. A final statement is expected by July and a federal decision finalizing it by August. Construction could then begin, if funding is in place.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

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  • Robert Moses

    The rail component is NOT needed or wanted because REAL Americans drive everywhere. So-called “public transportation” is a product of crime-ridden, lowlife-infested cities, so people who use it are America-hating traitors.

  • man from old ways

    Releases Environmental Impact Statement is bull we need to stop these phony studys epa needs to be gotten rid of just build this. the hell with studys

  • VY

    No rail now means 10 times the cost to retro fit rail onto the new bridge or build a separate rail structure (dedicated rail bridge or tunnel).
    Plus the time delay in getting rail across the Hudson for years untilthe separate funding coulf be found.
    Just plane stupid.
    Very short sighted.
    No rial will make the new bridge over crowded on day one.
    Direct one seat ride into Manhattan via a rail connection will make real estate values and additional new construction in Rockland and Orange counties take off.

  • midi-man

    I do! That is the mayor and his freaking idiots. He want clean air but is to stupid to install rail service on a new bridge, but he is running all around town installing trees.

  • Bullett

    I can’t believe that the transportation department will go out and spend 3.5 to 5 billion dollars on a new bridge and not include rail service to help reduce highway congestion. How anal is that?

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