Gov. Andrew Cuomo Ordered Dozens Of Hearings On $5 Billion Bridge Project

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – White Plains residents heard from state officials and got a chance to voice concerns over a new Tappan Zee Bridge at a public hearing Thursday morning.

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the series of public hearings to make sure all questions about a new bridge are answered.

WCBS 880’s John Metaxas reports

At the hearing Thursday morning, officials said the $5 billion project is the most cost-effective option. They said the design of the bridge is transit-ready, capable of adding rapid bus or Metro-North trains in the future.

“This new bridge should last a minimum of 100 years before it needs any major structural repairs. The experts tell me if should last more like 150 to 200 years in the long run,” bridge project spokesman Brian Conybeare said.

Some of the concerns about the five-year construction project to build a new span include noise, pollution and traffic.

“Pavement breaking, jack-hammering, that kind of noise-intensive activities will not be allowed during night times or on Sundays or Saturday mornings. So we have these restrictions of what you can do at what times,” bridge project environmental consultant Robert Conway said at Thursday morning’s hearing.

Dozens of public hearings will be held in the coming weeks to try to assuage concerns of residents who live near the bridge. Conway assured residents the construction would not include massive trucks belching diesel fumes into nearby communities.

“Basically, we’re telling the contractors they have to get all new equipment. So essentially the difference is saying looking at your 1970 Impala with no emission controls on it versus a vehicle today in 2012 that has almost zero emissions,” Conway said.

State officials said a new bridge would not involve any taking of land. Two spans would be built north of the current span, but would use the existing landing on either side of the Hudson.

Officials said they’re committed to ensuring there’s minimal air and noise pollution, traffic, and damage to the River’s ecosystem during the five years of construction.

There’s also a new Twitter account to keep tabs on the bridge project.

Do you support the new bridge project? What would you like to see done with the Tappan Zee Bridge? Sound off in the comments section below.

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