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New Tappan Zee Bridge Would Keep Visual Impact

This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Losee Park in Tarrytown.
This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Losee Park in Tarrytown. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger
This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Lyndhurst.
This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Lyndhurst. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger
This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Warner Library.
This photo shows renderings of the new Tappan Zee Bridge from Warner Library. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Plans to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge include two proposed bridge designs, but neither would significantly alter views of the Hudson River, according to a final environmental study of the project.

The study includes two proposed designs: an arch or cable-stayed bridge. Officials have also studied several options for the number of bridge support piers.

“In general, the overall visual character and high visual quality of the Hudson River Valley would not be substantially altered by either the Arch or Cable-stayed design,” the study said, later adding, “The new Hudson River crossing would be built to the north close to the existing bridge structure and would maintain similar curves at the western and eastern approach structures as presently exist. Therefore, the location of the Hudson River crossing within the natural setting would not substantially differ from existing conditions.”

The new bridge would consist of two parallel structures, one for eastbound traffic and one for westbound traffic. A pedestrian and bicycle lane would also be included on the northern span.

The new bridge would consist of two parallel structures, one for eastbound traffic and one for westbound traffic. A pedestrian and bicycle lane would also be included on the northern span.

In March, a non-scientific poll on The Daily Voice website showed 60 percent of readers who chose to participate favored the cable-stayed bridge compared to 40 percent who preferred the arched bridge.

With a cable-stayed bridge, residents would see four, 350-foot high towers rising above the road. Cables would extend down on the east and west sides of the bridge. An arch bridge would include a steel arch that would curve about 200 feet above the road and connect the bases of the main span piers in the middle of the navigational channel.

The state notes both of the proposed designs would be higher than the current bridge, which rises 293 feet above the high-tide level. The top of the cable-stayed bridge's towers would be about 500 feet above the high-tide level and the arched bridge would rise about 350 feet above the high-tide level.

The state has dismissed the idea of keeping the existing bridge, in part because of the aesthetic problems of having three bridge spans in the same area. The state will let residents have a say in the new bridge's design. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office has announced the state will commission a blue-ribbon design panel to work with the community on “evaluating the general design criteria for the new bridge.”

Officials said residents in the Tappan Landing neighborhood and the Quay Condominium complex would be most affected by the new bridge's visual impacts because the bridge is being moved slightly north.

“Viewers would continue to have unobstructed views to the west and northwest of the river and Hudson River Valley uninterrupted by a bridge,” the state said.

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