Senator Stewart-Cousins Calls For Mass Transit on Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

October 20, 2011

(Tarrytown) - Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D/WF/ I – 35th District) is calling on Federal and State officials to include mass transit options in plans to rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridge. This comes in the wake of President Obama’s selection of the 3 mile Hudson River crossing as one of fourteen nationwide infrastructure projects to receive expedited federal review and approval. Her statement is below.

“As we wrestle with the costs of this project, we must consider our future transportation needs,” said Senator Stewart-Cousins. “To that end, it is critical that the new bridge include mass transit options such as bus rapid transit, so that it can sustain increased usage for years to come. This is what’s best for our environment, our economy and our transportation system as a whole.”

The Senator continued, “While I am optimistic now that the Federal government has put the Tappan Zee Bridge project on the fast track for approval, it is important that we take this opportunity to build a bridge for the future.”

On October 12, following the President’s announcement, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) halted the environmental review process on plans that called for bridge replacement, highway improvements and new mass transit options for the Tappan Zee Bridge. On that same day, the FHWA submitted a notice of intent to begin a new environmental review process for a replacement bridge that does not include mass transit options.

Approximately 138,000 vehicles travel across the Tappan Zee Bridge every day, which is far more than the bridge was designed to handle when it was built in 1955. This number is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, and without mass transit, analysts say traffic congestion will continue to worsen.