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Thread: Tappan Zee Bridge Alteration or Replacement

  1. #1

    Default Tappan Zee Bridge Alteration or Replacement

    July 24, 2003

    From 156 Options, Down to 15 Ways to Go on Tappan Zee


    The Tappan Zee Bridge, now 48 years old, was meant to last 50 years and to accommodate 100,000 vehicles a day, but it now handles 130,000.

    Engineers and planners designing an alteration to or replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge to ease congestion at one of the region's most notorious bottlenecks have narrowed 156 options down to 15.

    At a meeting yesterday morning in Nyack, officials presented the proposals — which range from preserving the current bridge to building a six-mile Tappan Zee tunnel — to about 100 people, including residents and members of community groups who have been following the the study since it began more than a year ago.

    The Tappan Zee Bridge, which is three miles long and connects Nyack, in Rockland County, to Tarrytown, in Westchester, stretches across one of the widest sections of the Hudson River. It was built 48 years ago and was expected to last about 50 years, though officials say it is still safe. Designed to accommodate 100,000 vehicles a day, the bridge now handles 130,000.

    Four of the options presented yesterday include building a tunnel, an option that has gained support among many residents in Rockland and Westchester Counties.

    The 15 options that survived the initial round of screening can be divided into five categories.

    ¶The preservation of the bridge with routine maintenance.

    ¶A complete rehabilitation of the bridge to enhance its ability to withstand earthquakes.

    ¶The construction of a new bridge in the same location that is 50 feet wider than the current one.

    ¶The construction of a tunnel to handle commuter rail and supplement a new or rehabilitated bridge.

    ¶The construction of a tunnel to handle both trains and vehicles.

    "Their choices are rather reasonable and rational," said J. Jeffrey Anzevino, a regional planner with Scenic Hudson, a nonprofit group that seeks to control suburban sprawl.

    Alexander Saunders, a Garrison resident who has been advocating a tunnel extending to Long Island, however, said he was frustrated by what he saw as the team's refusal to consider a plan that goes beyond Westchester and Rockland.

    In the next phase of study, the team of engineers and planners will further winnow the options to about five based on ability to handle traffic, impact on the environment, cost and the demands of the community. Christopher A. Waite, an engineer with New York State Thruway Authority who heads the project team, said he expected to announce the finalists around the beginning of next year.

    "Some options might not work as well," Mr. Waite said. "Some might be too expensive. In the next few months, we'll assess each one of them using computer models."

    While the project team has received $11.5 million to conduct the study for a final choice, the state has allocated no money for the construction. Given the current state budget crisis, many participants at yesterday's meeting raised questions about financing.

    The project team said it was still too early to apply for any grants, and it does not yet have a price tag on a new tunnel or a new bridge. To rehabilitate the bridge completely would cost about $1 billion, Mr. Waite said.

    The options eliminated in the last round include the construction of a bridge at a different location like Yonkers, the building of a tunnel from Suffern to Port Chester and the addition of commuter rail to the existing bridge.

    The team will present the 15 options to the public next week in two workshops. They will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Power Authority in White Plains on Tuesday and at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack on Wednesday.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    New Jersey

    Default Tappan Zee Bridge

    "One proposal would bury it all, with eight lanes of traffic, two bus lanes and the commuter railroad in six tubes under the Hudson."

    Not likely, the only feasible option to include rail would be a bridge with three levels. Two for cars, trucks, buses and a third for rail.

  3. #3


    From 1010 WINS Radio:

    Cost To Replace Tappan Zee Bridge Soars

    Apr 16, 2004 7:50 am US/Eastern

    (Nyack, New York) -- The cost to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge with a new bridge or tunnel and some form of mass transit could exceed 20 (B) billion dollars. That's more than four times what was initially estimated when the idea was floated four years ago.

    State consultants conducting an environmental review of the overworked Interstate 287 corridor laid out costs of various alternatives at a special meeting yesterday.

    The state has about 15 options including, refurbishing the 48-year-old bridge between Rockland and Westchester, building a new bridge or building a seven-mile long tunnel from West Nyack to Elmsford.

    The consultants will choose four or five options to study in depth during the next two years. A final decision will be made at the end of 2005. An informational meeting for the general public is expected to be held in June.

    Many of the plans would provide a train from Orange and Rockland counties that would go to Manhattan without transferring. People on the west side of the Hudson River liked that idea. However officials from Westchester want a light rail train to run parallel to Route 287 from Suffern to Port Chester.

    © MMIV Infinity Broadcasting Corp. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  4. #4


    April 17, 2004

    Bridge Awaits a Makeover, or a Successor


    Consulants anticipate that traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge will increase by about 48 percent by 2025.

    It's an aging bridge, choked by traffic, and state planners agree that the Tappan Zee is badly in need of an extreme makeover, or at least the engineering equivalent of a tummy tuck.

    Now they have new price tags to go along with the menu of options for preventing the bridge and Interstate 287 from going the bumper-to-bumper way of the Cross-Bronx Expressway. A cool $20 billion would fetch the deluxe plan - a tunnel that would carry both highway and rail traffic. At the opposite end of the spectrum, simply renovating the existing bridge would cost $3.5 billion.

    The $20 billion figure, which was revealed by planners with Metro-North Railroad and the New York State Thruway Authority at a public hearing Thursday in Nyack, is about five times the cost projected four years ago. The planners traced much of the discrepancy to the fact that initial numbers were based on preliminary engineering estimates, which have changed as details have been refined.

    For the past year, planners with Metro-North Railroad and the New York Thruway, charged with developing a plan to resolve the traffic problems and chart a future for the bridge, have been holding public hearings on scenarios to best resolve those issues. That process is winding down with 15 options, down from 156, currently being discussed. Officials expect to thin that list to no more than five options, which they will unveil by July for further consideration. An environmental impact study would follow the choice of a plan and would take about two years to complete.

    "It's still not over, but we're getting closer," said Janet M. Mainiero, deputy project manager for the Tappan Zee/I-287 Project.

    Beyond the construction of a tunnel, the alternatives being examined include building a new bridge, rehabilitating the existing bridge, and adding a mass transit component to the crossing like commuter or light rail or bus rapid transit. The new cost projections were reported yesterday in The Journal-News of Westchester.

    Although the Tappan Zee Bridge, which stretches three miles across the Hudson River connecting Rockland and Westchester counties, is still considered safe, it is handling far more traffic than it was designed for when it was built 48 years ago. About 130,000 vehicles a day use the bridge, which was designed to carry about 100,000 vehicles. At the time of its construction, the bridge was expected to last about 50 years.

    Project consulants anticipate that traffic will increase by about 48 percent by 2025 and predict that if nothing is done, I-287 will look like the Cross-Bronx Expressway does today.

    In putting a price tag on the options, planners projected it would cost $4 billion to $5.5 billion to create a commuter rail line linking Suffern to the Hudson Line of Metro-North and would take an additional $1 billion to $3 billion to continue across Westchester to the New Haven line in Port Chester.

    High-speed light rail was estimated to cost $4 billion to $5.5 billion with rapid bus service costing $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

    A budget has not yet been set for the project and it is anticipated that what ultimately will be arrived at is a mix of solutions.

    "The one that seemed to best address improved mobility and was over all the most economical was a new bridge with a commuter light-rail element," said Thom Kleiner, supervisor of Orangetown, which sits at the base of the bridge in Rockland County.

    That alternative _ - with light rail running from Suffern to Port Chester - _ has an estimated cost of $8 billion to $10 billion.

    While the tunnel option is estimated to cost about twice that amount, it also creates the most disruption on both sides of the bridge, requiring block-long vents on both shores and overshooting two exits on Interstate 287. It would also have to be at least nine miles long, making it one of the longest tunnels in the world.

    Whatever option is chosen, Mr. Kleiner said he hoped officials would be careful about how much capacity they create for new traffic.

    "We want to improve mobility without contributing to sprawl," he said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  5. #5
    Architectural Padawan
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Turtle Bay


    A commuter rail line is far superior to a light rail system. Land values in Orange and Rockland counties will go up significantly overnight when the commute to the city becomes 1 seat, and less than an hour during the rush (from Suffern).

  6. #6


    April 16, 2004

    New bridge, $4 billion; with all the extras, $20 billion

    Associated Press

    A new Tappan Zee Bridge would cost at least $4 billion and incorporating any new form of mass transit would add billions more, consultants say.

    In an early, tentative estimate of the costs involved in reducing congestion on the Interstate 287 corridor in Westchester and Rockland counties, officials said Thursday that the grandest plans, which would add commuter trains and light rail, could top $20 billion.

    However, none of the 15 "scenarios" put forward last year by the state Thruway Authority and the Metro-North Railroad, including a possible tunnel to replace the 49-year-old bridge, will be eliminated from consideration until July, when four or five will be chosen for further study. No final decision is expected before late 2005.

    The cost estimates included:

    - Between $6.5 billion and $8.5 billion for adding a commuter rail line from Suffern to Port Chester, linking to existing lines; it would cost about $3 billion less to bring the rail line only as far east as Metro-North's Hudson line.

    - Between $4 billion and $5.5 billion for a light rail line across Rockland and Westchester.

    - Between $2 billion and $2.5 billion for a dedicated busway from Suffern to White Plains.

    Officials acknowledged that the estimates do not include what could be the significant costs of acquiring land, solving environmental problems and financing the package

    Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA


    Funny, isn't it? How Florida can easily and quickly build seven mile-long bridges at will, how a parallel Chesapeake Bay Bridge can be built without any fuss, and how Canada can build the collosal Confederation Bridge, but somehow -- somehow -- a new Tappan Zee Bridge is estimated to cost $20 billion and will probably NEVER get done?!!

    Building a new Zee Bridge should not be a big deal. Even though the bridge will be lengthy, most will be trestle over shallow water. There is NO engineering challenge to cross the deep water channel. As for the finances of this project, not an issue. The bridge will pay for itself!

    What we need here is leadership. Governor Pataki needs to MAKE A DECISION TO BUILD, and START BUILDING. Put the hard hats to work, and let's get rid of the 20 mile traffic jams.

  8. #8


    I don't think replacing the bridge, without the expensive mass transit options, will solve any traffic problems. It will just replace an old bridge. It amazes me how easily this country spends money on road building, but getting money for any mass-transit projects is like pulling teeth.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Fairfax, VA


    Even though I will admit to being Atilla the Hun when it comes to building more highways, I actually am equally in favor of building better (and more) mass transit. The more people we have sitting in a train means less people clogging my lane of traffic. The root issue is SPEED, and all of us want to get where the heck we are going, pronto. Right now, we don't have much of either, regardless of our choice of travel. The result is millions of hours wasted, and an unnecessary drag on the efficiency of society and our economy. Expenditures on transportation of all kinds is an investment that, in my book, typically pays some whopping dividends. So how about we get to replacing the Tappan Zee, and use some foresight for a change, and design a second deck specifically for rail? This way, the drivers who use the bridge subsidize the mass transit component.

  10. #10
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    I agree, they need the rail line for sure.

    I would also prefer an hour on the train to 40 minutes in a car. The time is not wasted since you can do other things or even just sleep.

  11. #11


    A better solution than simply improving the bridge would be to rebuild the old West Shore Line in Rockland Co. Until the 1950s Rockland used to have a communter line just as good as Westchester's, but the line is now closed for commercial use. I have a great uncle who worked with the railroads and lives in Rockland, and he's complained for a long time about how they shouldn't of torn down that line. The tracks are still standing, but they are used for non-commuting purposes only.

  12. #12
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    Right, I know exactly how much residents of northeastern Bergen County also desire reinstated West Shore Line service. Tie that into a would-be line across the Tappan Zee and that opens up many more commuting options to so many more people.

    West Shore Corridor DEIS

  13. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    ...or even just sleep.
    Not in NYC you don't, not if you want to wake up still retaining your wrist watch, wallet and cash!!!!!

  14. #14
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by lostnyc
    Not in NYC you don't, not if you want to wake up still retaining your wrist watch, wallet and cash!!!!!
    Um, have you ever been to New York? It's not a cartoon. The suburban trains are very safe, and yes, many people sleep on them. I lived in Connecticut for a while, and had a relative visit and ask - as he boarded a train in Greenwich - if he had to worry about gangs on the train. Yes, gangs of stockbrokers, bankers and Martha Stewart clones...

  15. #15


    I live in the Bronx and take the 6 train almost everyday. If i'm tired, I have no problem grabing some shut eye. The people who assume that you are going to get mugged on the train are those who don't ride them.

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