Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R,Syosset) Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee today announced a joint hearing with the Senate Transportation Committee on the Long Island Sound Tunnel proposal.
"I recognize that there's not a Long Islander that didn't wish one time or another that some type of bridge or tunnel reached across the Sound so they could get home in 15 minutes as opposed to an hour and a half or more. When a project of this magnitude is proposed there are a lot of questions," said Senator Marcellino
"Does it make sense from a congestion point of view? Would congestion actually increase instead of decreasing? What about local roads and the changing traffic patterns? Does it make sense environmentally, where and how would you vent the tunnel? Is building a tunnel that will make it easier to stay in our cars, really a way to reduce CO2 emissions as claimed? Obviously this proposal needs to be looked at from every angle and this hearing will afford us the opportunity to do just that," said Senator Marcellino
"Senator Marcellino knows that his constituents have a lot of questions that need to be answered about this project," said Senator Libous, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "A tunnel of this magnitude - costing billions of dollars and affecting millions of people - needs to be thought through clearly. And the public deserves to hear first-hand from developers, engineers and transportation experts about how they'll be affected."
The proposed tunnel is approximately 16 miles in length and would extend from Route 135 (Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway) in Syosset, to the intersection of I-287 and I-95 in Rye, NY. The project would be funded by the private sector and cost approximately $10 billion. The toll is estimated at $25 dollars each way.
The tunnel is expected to carry between 59,000 and 79,000 vehicles per day when it is completed in 2025. According to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority annual average daily traffic in 2006 on the Queens Midtown Tunnel was 79,359.
"This is a serious proposal by serious people. It must be fully reviewed before we change the landscape of Long Island forever," concluded Senator Marcellino.
The hearing is scheduled for the third week in January on Long Island.