TARRYTOWN, N.Y. A draft environmental impact statement on the new Tappan Zee Bridge is expected to be completed in January, with a decision made by August.
The new environmental impact study comes after transportation officials unveiled scaled-back plans for a new bridge in October and the Obama administration fast-tracked the project .
Plans call for two twin spans to be built just north of the existing bridge. Each span would house one direction of traffic, with room for emergency lanes.
The new plans do not include a mass transit system, although officials said the new bridge would not preclude mass transit options in the future . Hundreds turned out to two public scoping briefings and submitted comments to protest the lack of mass transit on the new bridge, saying the new bridge would not be able to handle future population growth or ease an already-congested area.
Tarrytown officials expressed their concerns about how the new bridge would affect the Quay condominiums and overall traffic.
Nyack Mayor Richard Kavesh pointed out during a public meeting in Tarrytown that the whole reason behind the original I-87/287 corridor project was to get people out of their cars and into mass transit to reduce congestion and reduce pollution.
That is decidedly lacking in this Hudson River Crossing Project, Kavesh said, later adding, To say that you propose something that does not preclude mass transit is a lot different than proposing something that includes mass transit from the very beginning.
Several area residents and organizations have called for the rehabilitation of the existing bridge. Riverkeeper argues on its website that a rehabilitation would correct safety issues while keeping costs low. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner also wants to keep the old Tappan Zee Bridgeas a park.
The new Tappan Zee Bridge is expected to be completed in 2017.
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