by Stephanie Hausner
I want to thank Governor Cuomo for making the Tappan Zee Bridge Hudson River Crossing project a priority and pushing this it forward. Some of us have been attending these workshops for years and it seemed like a new bridge would not happen in our lifetime, so I’m excited to see such a short timeline and that this bridge will be built shortly.
By adding another lane to the bridge, a bicycle lane, and a shoulder this bridge this is already a huge step forward.
As part of the ongoing meetings Clarkstown has been conducting over the past couple of years as part of our Tappan Zee Taskforce, we recently heard from Project Director Michael Anderson about changes to the Central Nyack/Mountainview Avenue Exit 11 Interchange. While I realize that the current bridge project is only slated to cover the span of the bridge and not the rest of the Rockland Thruway corridor as originally proposed, project planners should consider how the increased traffic flow will impact the Central Nyack area, Mountainview Ave, and the town of Clarkstown. Many residents use Rt. 59 and Exit 11 to travel onto the bridge, this exit is already backed up causing congestion on Route 59. One of our largest hospitals is located less than a mile from this intersection so especially in the morning there is already significant traffic from both the bridge and people trying to get into Nyack.
One of the future options that project planners have suggested is adding another bridge in the future to handle mass transit later. Of the three options for future transit on the bridge, I strongly encourage you to choose the design which includes transit on the bridge itself. Adding a third bridge or using the space between the spans for transit will never happen because of its high cost.
I hope that there is a real plan in place for the train as well as the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) discussed at earlier meetings. For the future vitality of our town and county, it is imperative that these transit options not be taken off the table and continue to be part of a larger plan for the region.
Stephanie Hausner is a Town of Clarkstown Councilwoman. She delivered these remarks at the Public Scoping Briefings on the proposed infrastructure improvements for the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing on Thursday 10/27.