Can We Please Just Build the New Tappan Zee Bridge?

Concerns about the new bridge should be heeded, but not cause undue delay for a new span.

After Monday's vote to proceed with the plans to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, I perused River Keeper's website to see what their objections were to the project. They aren't opposed to a new bridge, but they are indeed rightly concerned that the process be approached responsibly and that the execution be as environmentally friendly as possible. I am too, but make no bones about it: those of use who work on both sides of the Hudson and use that span often would really like to see a new bridge built sooner rather than later. 

Will it be a financial boondoggle? Probably. 
Will environmental advocates be completely satisfied with everything? Probably not.

I want to see a new bridge already. I think we need to just pull the bandage off and proceed with this. Let's put some people to work and get a bridge that we can drive across with peace of mind. Then, let's argue about something else, like what kind of high speed rail we can add to the span to minimize the vehicle count. 

Does this mean I want Riverkeeper and other environmentalist groups to shut up and get out of the way? Quite the contrary- my father didn't spend the bulk of his twenties in World War II and Korea fighting for anyone to have their right to free speech suppressed.

There will always been tension between commerce and caution. I hope the groups concerned for the environment and transparency of the process are heard loud and clear. That is, just as long as some of that noise is the sound of construction of the new bridge we need. 


For more real estate commentary, log onto Westchester Real Estate Blog, authored by J. Philip Faranda, broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Heron August 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I live very close to the bridge (and can see that you do not). I wouldn't mind putting up with the noise, lowering of home values, pollution and other aggravation the bridge construction will cause if the result is an improved bridge. A bridge that has mass transit such as light rail would be well worth it, as far as I'm concerned. But to end up with a bridge that does nothing but increase the amount of traffic isn't very foreward-thinking. I see no reason why those of us who are most affected by this bridge should just "put up and shut up", particularly when we're told to do so by people who don't live in Tarrytown or Nyack.
Heron August 22, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Or, put another way, when Drew Fixell writes an article like this, I will be happy to listen.
Kathleen August 22, 2012 at 01:03 AM
The majority of the people who use the bridge and who must commute via this route are those who do not live in Tarrytown or Nyack. It affects all of us whether we live geographically near to it or not, and therefore our opinion should not be marginalized.
John J. Timmel August 22, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Most people agree that a new bridge is needed. The problem is who's going to pay for it? The counties are broke. New York State has huge debts and never set aside funding for a bridge replacement, as it should have. The Federal government runs up a trillion dollar deficit every year and borrows forty cents of every dollar it spends. The inevitable answer is: more borrowing and more debt. In addition, environmental groups could tie up the project for years in federal court, if they chose to do so.
E. Loughran August 22, 2012 at 06:42 PM
No, "most" people do NOT agree that a new bridge is needed. That is simply the message that has been rammed down our throats. The public, especially those who live closest to the bridge, who will endure life-altering effects from any work that is undertaken has NEVER been shown ANY evidence regarding repair vs. replacement.
Heron August 22, 2012 at 06:57 PM
YAY, E Loughran! i agree.
Heron August 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
E. Loughran inspired me to look up the River Keeper's report on the building of the bridge. This is what they say about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the bridge: "The DEIS does not provide sufficient explanation for why rehabbing the existing bridge would not be a reasonable alternative. The DEIS does not provide any factual support for its statement that the life span of the Rehabilitation Alternative would only be 50 years. In fact, the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Environmental Review Newsletter states that the rehabilitated bridge “would be expected to last up to 150 years.” There has been no explanation for this change in position"
E. Loughran August 23, 2012 at 04:04 AM
"The rehabilitated bridge 'would be expected to last up to 150 years.'" And, it wouldn't cost us as much, financially, environmentally, or in any of the above-stated hardships. How do we, the people, get our voices to be heard?
Bob Rohr August 25, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Out of curiosity, where would all the traffic go while the Bridge is being rebuilt.
Bob Rohr August 25, 2012 at 01:02 AM
No I was talking about the idea of rehabbing the old Bridge.
Norman August 25, 2012 at 01:15 AM
engineers can rehab the bridge while still keeping traffic going over the bridge. How do you guys think any of the nyc bridges have been rehabbed? Look at the Manhattan Bridge, it has a subway line going over it and several lanes of traffic, it took about 16 years but it was completely rebuilt while traffic and subway still used it. That's what I think should be done with the TZ. The idea of building a completely new bridge is a huge waste of money.
J Philip Faranda August 25, 2012 at 01:22 AM
The Manhattan bridge had plenty of help- Brooklyn, Williamsburg, tunnels, subways, etc. We have no such luxury with the TZ.
sayitsnotsojack August 25, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Will someone please tell me why after 57 years since completed the TPZ needs to replaced when the Brooklyn bridge is now 129 years old and still standing? The GW bridge is 79 years old and still standing. Did the builders of those bridges know something the TPZ people did not?
K.Cobain August 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Why did you move so close to the thruway in the first place if you have concerns about pollution, noise and etc.. what nonsense.. Its a wonder anything can get done in this country anymore.. Heron the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few..
Heron August 27, 2012 at 05:35 PM
@KCobain - fair enough, but I did say that I wouldn't mind the new bridge if it were a better, improved bridge. I would LOVE to see a bridge that has light rail.


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