BY MICHAEL CAHILL
“Our plea is for proper preparation before utter devastation,” read a placard at the front on the room at the Sons of Israel Congregation in Upper Nyack on Monday evening as the event organized by the Salisbury point Co-Op got underway.
The event was an opportunity for several engineers hired by Salisbury Point to present their analysis of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Salisbury Point is a 120-unit apartment complex located in Nyack near the current Tappan Zee Bridge. Residents there are concerned about the impact that the bridge construction will have on their community. After the DEIS was released in January, Salisbury Point’s Co-Op Board decided to hired two engineering firms to see what the impact of the construction will be to Salisbury Point.
Catherine McCue, the Salisbury Point Co-Op Board President said, “We’re not opposing building the new bridge, but we want an open dialogue with the builders.”
Brook Crossan, an engineer with Mack Associates, called the DEIS deficient. The DEIS does not properly address what noise levels will be like during construction, said Crossan Specifically, what kind of equipment will be used and when, and how sound, transmitted over the water.
The new bridge will be built slightly north of the current one, and according to Crossan the DEIS does not deal with how that shift will effect noise and pollution levels.
Nat Parish of Parish & Weiner, Inc., another firm hired by Salisbury Point, agreed with Crossan’s about the DEIS. Parish voiced concern about the disruptiveness of workers coming and going from the site each day. In the DEIS there are no plans for where workers will park each day.
There was fear that work on the bridge would not be subject to South Nyack’s noise ordinance. If that were the case, work could be happening at all hours of the day and night, as well as on weekends.
Phillip Musegas from the environmental advocacy group River Keeper talked about the possible environmental impacts that the DEIS does not address. He specifically cited the danger that pylon driving and dredging pose to the river ecosystem including the endangered Atlantic Sturgeon.
“As it stands now, if final environmental impact statement does not address these concerns we (River Keeper) will go to court to stop it,” said Musegas.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and Mayor Patricia DuBow were also at the meeting and also voiced their concerns about the lack of answers from Albany about the project.
During a chaotic second half of the meeting attendees attempted to ask the guests questions. Comments between the attendees occasionally erupted into shouting or ranting matches, with few questions being answered.
For more information about the DEIS and the new Tappan Zee Bridge visit http://www.tzbsite.com/index.html