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Mario Cuomo Bridge

State Sez: Better to Build A Bridge Than Fix It

A $54 million study has concluded that it’s cheaper to build a Tappan Zee Bridge replacement than to repair the current structure. Although the 150,000 daily riders have no reason to fear for their safety, transit officials say the TZB doesn’t meet current national standards.

A $16 billion replacement is planned, including a new bridge just north of the current structure (Cost: $6.4B), a 30 mile bus rapid transit from Suffern To Port Chester ($2.9B), and a one-stop rail link from Rockland County to Grand Central Station (6.7B).

The new bridge, first proposed by Governor Pataki in 1999, would open 2016 if environmental hurdles are cleared and funding is secured. The Bus Rapid Transit service would begin operation on ‘€œday one’€ of the bridge’s opening, according to NYSDOT Commissioner Astrid Glynn. Rail lines will follow later. Pedestrian and bike paths are also being considered as part of the plan.

Public meetings will be held next month prior to development of a Final Scoping Report. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) will be completed by 4Q 2009 followed by a Final Environmental Impact Statement in early 2010.

Rockland Community College will host transportation officials for a public meeting on the project on October 29.

Sources: Gothamist, Poughkeepsie Journal, BalconyNewYork

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