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State Changes Course, Will Not Take Private Property To Build New Tappan Zee Bridge

Some Homeowners Thrilled, While Others Say They Were Counting On Buy-Out
Tappan Zee Bridge

Tappan Zee Bridge (Credit: CBS 2)

SOUTH NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There has been a dramatic change of course in the plans to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge. Homeowners living near one end of the span were told the state would be taking their homes. Now, the state says they can stay.

The shocking surprise came as a welcome bit of news to some residents on the Rockland County side of the Hudson River, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Friday.

“This is nothing short of a miracle for us,” Susan Truss said.

The engineers have decided they can live with the South Broadway overpass over the New York State Thruway, which means they will not have to take property along the Rockland approach to the bridge. It’s incredible news for homeowners who didn’t want to move, folks like Susan and Bill Truss, who met in his South Nyack home back in 1979 and have lived in it since. They’d made reluctant plans to move out in the fall because of the bridge construction.

“[I’m] pretty shocked. I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Bill Truss said.

“My dear husband called me this morning and asked me ‘are you sitting down?’ and I said ‘yes,’ and then he told me and I cried. Who could not be overjoyed at this?” Susan Truss said.

Well, her neighbor, for one.

“It’s a shock and it’s not, it’s not good news at all,” Melissa Hall said.

People living along this stretch of South Broadway thought the matter had been settled. The now-cancelled bridge buy-out money was their ticket out of here.

“We were good with being out of the construction zone. We just felt bad for the people who were 100 feet away watching the whole thing for years,” homeowner Mike Holeben said.

“I feel like it’s not decisive. I feel like it has put us in a perpetual state of uncertainty,” Hall said, adding she’s concerned minds could change again.

That’s not impossible, but Young was told once the construction contracts are set this summer, an additional flip-flop on this matter is extremely unlikely.

Construction is expected to begin in August.

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