Tom Warne Report, 21 October 2011
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the federal approval of New York State’s request to expedite the review and approval process to allow work to begin on the Tappan Zee Bridge project. The Tappan Zee project represents a multi-billion dollar investment that will create tens of thousands of jobs and restore a critical part of the Northeast’s transportation infrastructure.
President Obama launched a competition where states could submit their high priority, job-creating projects in order to win expedited federal approvals, and New York submitted the Tappan Zee project in to the competition. With this expedited federal review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the processing of certain permits, the Tappan Zee project could begin as early as next year, potentially creating more jobs than any other infrastructure project in the country.
Built in the 1950s, the Tappan Zee Bridge is a critical link in the regional transportation network carrying Interstate routes I-87/I-287 across the Hudson River, connecting Rockland and Westchester Counties in southeastern New York, approximately 15 miles north of midtown Manhattan. This bridge connects I-287 in New Jersey to I-95 in Connecticut for access to the Northeast, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and carries a high percentage of trucks. Approximately 135,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily with upwards of 160,000 vehicles on some weekends, with a total of approximately 45 million vehicles in 2010.