TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York state has planned innovative measures to protect fish and people during the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, according to an environmental impact released Wednesday.
The report says residents will have 24-hour online video access and will be able check noise and air quality levels. It says any excessive noise has to be stopped an hour after it’s reported and pile driving will generally be prohibited between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.
WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports
It says an underwater “curtain” of bubbles will be used to minimize the acoustic effect of pile driving on fish. Dredging will be limited to avoid peak migration and spawning.
It says the state no longer plans to take anyone’s property. Nine households had been targeted in the draft, but design changes were made.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
It also concludes that the bridge will have no major, lasting environmental effects. Dredging will affect some life forms in the riverbed, however, and builders will have to undertake environmental programs elsewhere in the river to compensate, the report says.
“Every step possible is being included to protect residents, protect the river and protect the environment,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s special advisor Brian Conybeare.
The report also reveals no change in the plans for rapid transit, a concern for many who felt train or bus systems should be incorporated.
The bridge will be built strong enough to handle commuter trains but no new transit lines are being built to take advantage of that. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has promised that at least during rush hour, there will be lanes dedicated to buses.
But Josh Verleun with Riverkeeper said there are still transit and other deficiencies in the plan.
“It really seems like the state knew what they wanted to build and that this process was really built around supporting the option that they already had planned to build,” he said.
The report continues to call for demolition of the existing bridge, disappointing enthusiasts who had been calling for it to become a car-free greenway, like Manhattan’s High Line.
Executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority Thomas Madison said at a public meeting that they are intending to demolish the old bridge, according to a report in the Journal News.
“It would have provided tourists and residents with a world-class destination. I think it could have generated some revenue,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane, who was among those in support of a greenway.
Feiner said he hopes the decision isn’t etched in stone.
Gov. Cuomo has said that the idea of a park on the original span would be an exciting opportunity.
State officials have vowed to hear all concerns and have embarked on a new push for transparency and inclusiveness.
Construction is expected to begin late this year or early next year and to last about five years. But first, a builder has to be chosen from among three that submitted bids.
For more information about the project, visit www.newnybridge.com.
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