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State Seeks To Lessen Impact Of Tappan Zee Bridge Construction

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge will be done with as little impact on Tarrytown as possible, state officials said Wednesday night.

Plans include using keeping most construction trucks off local streets and busing in construction workers from an off-site location.

"It's one of the reasons we're going to be doing some degree of dredging," said Karen Rae, who works in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. "So that we can get the big equipment in on barges and keep it off of city streets. There will be a few trucks arriving on the Thruway going directly onto the bridge or down right off the bridge, but very, very few."

Representatives from Cuomo's office, as well engineers who worked on the environmental impact studies, spoke and answered questions during a community meeting at the Tarrytown Senior Center. The meeting was one of a series of community meetings conducted by the governor's office.

The proposed Tappan Zee Bridge would be two parallel spans about 300 feet north of the existing bridge. Rush-hour express bus lanes will be structured into the new bridge, as well as a bicycle and pedestrian lane.

Many Tarrytown residents asked questions about the affect of construction on the village. Construction would last four-and-a-half to five-and-a-half years, with pile driving lasting for a year to a year-and-a-half, officials said.

The state has set guidelines for when and how long pile driving and other noise-causing construction can be done to limit noise, Special Tappan Zee Bridge Adviser Brian Coneybeare said. Officials found during testing that many areas of the river won't need pile driving, Coneybeare said.

Some aspects of the project, such as dredging, can occur only during certain times of the year so aquatic wildlife is not disturbed, he said.

In Tarrytown's case, pile driving is avoided especially close to the shore because the rock foundation is high enough for the bridge to sit on, Engineer Mark Roche said.

The state also plans to build fences to prevent suicides and install many video cameras to monitor car breakdowns, Coneybeare said.

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