Breakneck Speed Of Tappan Zee Replacement Project Has Opponents Stunned

NYACK, N.Y. (CBS 2) — You can call it the “Tappan Zee Bridge Express.”

The new multi-billion dollar project for the 3-mile span over the Hudson River is on a breakneck schedule that has opponents crying foul.

The Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project is moving so fast critics and opponents are stunned. Its days as a commuter crossing are numbered.

“They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid — because Washington says it’s an election year and we’ve gotta do something, they’re building a bridge,” Nyack trustee Marie Lorenzini told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

“We are the citizens that are expendable when any man-made construction comes by,” Charles Westwater said.

It’s not just the new bridge that’s causing the uproar, it’s the approaches to the new bridge featuring two new spans. The old span will remain open during construction for 5 years. That means some of the houses in the area are going to have to go and their neighbors, who will live right up against the new roadway, are anxious.

“Oh, I am really mad at him,” said Ruby Frae, referring to President Barack Obama.

The president, who fast-tracked the Tappan Zee, gave Governor Andrew Cuomo the opportunity to push the project through. The house next door to Frae and its garage will be taken by the state, leaving folks like her on the front line.

“It devastates us,” Frae said. “We are never, ever going to be able to sell our house.”

“I can’t believe it’s happening right when we were getting ready to retire and move away and now we won’t be able to sell our house,” said Carol Serrone, a South Nyack resident.

And it’s not the bridge itself, but the timing that’s so shocking. Such a rare jolt of decision making and instant action is so unlike the drawn-out process that preceded it.

For bridge backers, that’s a good thing.

“We’ve had a decade or more of conversation, of debate, of different design, of different presentations– it was never done. Now’s the moment and we have to take advantage of it,” said Al Samuels, President of the Rockland Business Association.

The Thruway Authority has one final public hearing before the bids for the bridge are awarded this spring. That final public hearing was set to take place Thursday night at the Westchester Marriot in Greenburgh.

Are you upset by the replacement project?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • can

    Look at the law on the books…growth points.
    Too fast tracked without adequate study.
    Guess you don’t live in the river towns to understand what this means to property values, environment issues, etc.

  • buzzi

    Guess you don’t live in the river towns affect by this ‘fast track project’.
    You don’t know the facts. Pushing through a major project like this is just ‘election year politics’. Simple simons and henny pennies…the bridge is not falling down.
    Read about growth plan goals…not following the law

  • alexander saunders

    all over the world tunnels are being completed in months. not years and for millions not billions.the tappan tunnel was designed for us iin 2003 and built in shanghai in 2005. completed in 2008.. environmental damage nil, cost 800 million. rail is included and the tzt can be extended all the way to longisland in a few more years. truck on train saving tens of thousands of gallons of fuel is a given at little additional cost.accidents due to weather and sun glare eliminated, parking for mass transit available on old I287. lets go.

  • nrichard

    Why in the name of God is anyone opposing this? This is a testament to our current society – there is always someone who goes against something regardless of the greater good. It is really out of control how when common sense things get opposed by a bunch of crazed do-goods – they are not doing good at all, they are hindering progress and basic economic needs and the media needs to stop entertaining the crazies!

  • VY

    *closed becasue it becomes UNSAFE

  • VY

    If the existing TZ bridge falls apart or has to be closed because it becomes safe How low will property values in Tarrytown and Nyack if the TZ closes.
    That’s the question the people in those 2 towns need to ask, not to mention the adverse economic impact on the entire region.
    If there is no bridge there will be a very low pool of buyers interested in buying homes in Nyack because no one caqn get there.
    With no bridge there are no highways to Nyack or Tarrytown, only a one way dead end highway out.

  • VY

    It needs to be replaced and it needs to be replaced now.
    The existing bridge is falling apart and will become unservicable some time in the future if the old bridge is not replaced.
    The new bridge needs a rail connection for the economic vitality of Rockland, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan Counties.
    It’s a no brainer except to the penny-wise-pound-foolish politicos who will tell voters we can’t afford that extension of the infrastructure, even though if will be used for the next 75 to 100 years.
    The Brooklyn Bridge took 3 to 4 times the original construction time to build, and cost 15 or more times the original cost estimates.
    The Brooklyn Bridge has been in service since 1883.
    That’s 129 years of service and no one would make the arguement that it was not worth the cost over runs and the 15 to 18 year construction time.
    And with proper maintainance it will still be carrying traffic 100 years from now.
    Something like a new Tappan Zee Bridge with a rail mass transit link will be viewed the same way 100 years from now as long as it is built to the highest standards right from the start.

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