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Tarrytown Neighborhood Worried About TZ Bridge Construction

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The new Tappan Zee Bridge hits a little too close to home for some residents of Tarrytown's Irving neighborhood to ignore. Their neighborhood sits immediately south of the bridge landing.

“I know that we've been really following this,” said Tori Weisel , the president of the Irving Neighborhood Preservation Association .

The quiet 40-home neighborhood is tucked away between the bridge and the JCC on the Hudson. The area features several homes dating back to the 1800s and Weisel said many were involved in the Underground Railroad.

Residents in the neighborhood have all received copies of proposed plans for the bridge, Weisel said, and many have been following the project for more than a decade because their neighborhood is one of a few that would be particularly impacted.

Depending on how the new bridge is designed, transportation officials estimate in the draft environment impact statement that construction will take between three and a half to four and a half years. Demolition of the old bridge is expected to take one year.

Proposed plans call for two staging areas in Westchester County to help contractors prepare construction elements, dock vessels, transfer materials and other construction-related activities. One would sit where the bridge maintenance facility and State Police barracks are located next to the office building at 303 South Broadway. Another staging area would be built out onto the Hudson River.

The draft study says contractors will develop a construction protection plan to protect historic properties, including the South Nyack Historic District, the River Road Historic District and 10 Ferris Lane in Rockland County, and properties in the Irving Historic District in Westchester County from inadvertent impact during construction.

The proposed plans do not include the possibility of constructing a tunnel as the previous I-87/I-287 corridor project did. Weisel said residents were glad of the omission because the tunnel would have gone right through the neighborhood. Transportation officials rejected the tunnel proposal because it was not cost effective.

Residents' biggest concern is how construction of a new bridge will affect their quality of life. Resident Stacy Cusick said she was worried about her “health, safety, quality of life and sanity during the whole construction process.”

Weisel, too, said that she was concerned about the noise and air quality impacts of dredging and pile driving in addition to construction trucks continuing to go by the neighborhood.

“This is a thriving neighborhood with a lot of kids,” Weisel said.

Weisel said residents were concerned with potential impacts of the dust that could stem from the construction site that would sit so close to the neighborhood, especially how it would affect kids. Weisel noted there's a bus stop located on the corner of Paulding and the community center, which would see a lot of construction vehicles driving by.

Sound is a big concern, Weisel noted, and residents have made sure that state officials include them in studies. When transportation officials first began monitoring sound pollution from the bridge for the draft study, they originally only looked at the areas around The Quay condominiums and the Tappan Landing neighborhood, Weisel said.

“We had to remind them we existed,” Weisel said.

Residents are also concerned by the actual vibrations that will come off from the construction site, Cusick and Weisel noted, because some of the older homes in the neighborhood shake whenever a snow plow comes through or certain trains barrel down the Metro North Hudson line.

“You definitely get the rattle,” Cusick said, noting she lived in an older house.

Residents from the neighborhood will be at an upcoming public hearing on the draft environmental impact statement scheduled for March 1 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown from 4 to 9 p.m., Weisel said.

“We're hoping we can protect our neighborhood,” she said. “We want to stay healthy."

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