TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT RELEASED

Represents the most progress made since plans for the new bridge began over 10 years ago 

New York State Press Release

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald and New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) Executive Director Thomas Madison today announced that NYSDOT and NYSTA have completed and released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Tappan Zee Bridge Project. This announcement marks a milestone achievement in Governor Cuomo’s plans to expedite the replacement of the aging and obsolete bridge, which has been stalled for decades. The study calls for an expedited timeline that preserves the option for mass transit. Furthermore, under Governor Cuomo’s accelerated timetable, construction could begin later this year. To view a copy of the DEIS, go to http://www.tzbsite.com/tzbsite_2/index_2.html.

“New York has spent a decade talking, studying, and meeting about how to replace this vital bridge,” said Commissioner McDonald. “But under Governor Cuomo’s leadership we have been able to make significant progress in building a new Tappan Zee Bridge. The Governor’s expedited timeline has accelerated this project, which will create jobs and generate much needed economic development opportunities in the Hudson Valley. At the same time, the study does not rule out mass transit options.  Now that we understand the environmental effects of reconstructing the bridge, it is time to start laying out real construction plans.”

Thomas Madison, Executive Director of the Thruway Authority, said, “The completed DEIS represents the remarkable team effort that is quickly becoming a hallmark of the new Tappan Zee Bridge Project. Leadership from Governor Cuomo and support from President Obama have enabled the Thruway Authority, NYSDOT, and the Federal Highway Administration to work in a focused, collaborative way to meet this critical deadline and maintain Project momentum. I applaud and thank FHWA New York Division Administrator John McDade and all the Federal and state agencies for their hard work and collaboration in this process.”

Comments on the DEIS will be accepted until March 15, and public hearings will be held in Westchester and Rockland Counties in late February.  Public notice of those meetings will be made as soon as final arrangements have been completed. New York met the January 19 deadline to submit the DEIS to the federal government. The document is now available on the project website.

The project will incorporate design features to maximize the public investment that include an additional span-width, which could be used for bus rapid transit or another transit purpose. The replacement bridge will have eight traffic lanes as opposed to the current seven, and feature two breakdown lanes that could also be used to accommodate transit or other transportation purposes. Additionally, unlike the current structure, it will include pedestrian and bicycle lanes. The current bridge has no seismic redundancy.