ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is considering turning the Tappan Zee Bridge into a “greenway” instead of demolishing it when a new adjacent span is built to cross the Hudson River.

Cuomo says Wednesday his administration is discussing whether to turn the current 57-year-old bridge into a walkway similar to the one spanning the Hudson 45 miles upriver at Poughkeepsie.

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Officials have said a new bridge carrying the Thruway between Rockland and Westchester counties would cost $5.2 billion, with rail lines and bus lanes costing billions more if added to the project.

The governor says turning the current Tappan Zee into a crossing for pedestrians and bicyclists would offer outstanding views and recreational opportunities for visitors.

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The walkway idea has been raised by town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.

“I think turning it into a suburban version of the High Line would make the Tappan Zee Bridge a real destination point,” Feiner said last fall.

In Jan., the state released an environmental impact statement on the new bridge and found it would not increase pollution to the Hudson River and might improve air quality because of better traffic flow.

The project could start by August and officials have said construction is expected to take up to five and a half years.

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