Senator Carl L. Marcellino and Nassau County Legislator Donald MacKenzie joined with members of the Oyster Bay Community to oppose the Cross Long Island Sound Bridge and Tunnel.
“While every Long Islander recognizes the need to improve our transportation infrastructure, wasting $5 million studying a flawed idea that has been around and debunked for decades is a dead end. The arguments against the tunnel and the bridge are long; property rights, traffic, lack of community input, noise, parking, tolls and cost just to name a few. These potential projects could destroy the fabric of the impacted communities, disrupt the fragile ecosystem of the Sound and spawn countless lawsuits. It’s simply a non-starter. I am sure we can find a better use for $5 million on Long Island,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset).
The Long Island Association asked Governor Cuomo to include in the $5 million feasibility study of a tunnel under Long Island Sound, to also look at the option of a bridge. The specifics of the bridge plan are unknown. In the past the proposed bridge approach was from the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135) through Oyster Bay and Bayville. This would be unacceptable to both Senator Marcellino and Legislator MacKenzie.
"Governor Cuomo is attempting to resurrect the long dead idea of an Oyster Bay bridge. Quite simply this idea would destroy the North Shore as we know it and is universally opposed by the residents here. It is hard to imagine any scenario where Oyster Bay Harbor and the surrounding communities including Bayville, Mill Neck, Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Muttontown and Syosset would remain intact if the bridge was built. Placing this bridge here would dissect our communities, destroy our ecosystem and impose irreparable damage," said Nassau County Legislator Donald MacKenzie
Senator Marcellino held a hearing on the last proposal for a Cross Island Tunnel where he heard from government officials in both Oyster Bay and Rye, experts in the fields of transportation, geology, the environment and regional planning. The last 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 world's longest roadway tunnel built in Norway is 15.2 miles
The tunnel would be expected to carry between 69,000 and 89,000 vehicles per day when completed. According to the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, annual average daily traffic in 2010 on the Queens Midtown Tunnel was 88,014.
“Our waters consistently produce more than 30% of the shellfish harvested in the entire state. The installation of a bridge and highway through this watershed and estuary would be devastating to these precious natural resources. Friends of the Bay is adamantly opposed to such a project,” said Paul DeOrsay, Executive Director, Friends of the Bay
The State of New York has recognized Oyster Bay as an "Outstanding Natural Coastal Area" and a "Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat." The U.S Department of the Interior has designated more than 3,000 acres of these waters for protection through establishment of the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1968. The National Audubon Society has designated this estuary as an "Important Bird Area."
“As president of the Oyster Bay Civic Association I vehemently oppose the very notion of even considering a project of this nature in Oyster Bay, let alone spending millions of taxpayer dollars on repetitive studies resulting in the same conclusion. Such a proposal demonstrates a complete lack of appreciation for the historic integrity of our hamlet and is ignorant of the quality of life that our residents and those in neighboring communities enjoy and value. Fiscal irresponsibility of this kind not only affects citizens who live in the north shore areas, it impacts all New York State residents. Perhaps instead, research should be conducted to determine a location on Long Island that may be better suited to absorb an endeavor of this magnitude. We will battle against this nonsense until it is defeated once and for all,” said Richard LaMarca, President, Oyster Bay Civic Association
"The Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection, representing 13 municipalities in the watershed, is deeply concerned that a cross sound bridge will cause irreparable harm to one of the most environmentally significant, historic, and economically viable embayments in Long Island Sound. Any consideration of a bridge or tunnel in this area goes directly against the national, state and local designations, including New York State’s own Coastal Zone Management Plan for Long Island Sound. Instead of wasting $5 million on a feasibility study these resources should be invested in protecting and enhancing this tremendous natural resource," said Rob Crafa, Coordinator, Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee
“The North Shore of Long Island is one of the most picturesque and historic areas of New York State. Over the years the community and local governments have worked very diligently to maintain and improve the beautiful suburban nature and the pristine harbor we inherited from the residents who were here before us, so that one day we can pass it on to future generations. We have a responsibility to our residents to object to any project which will destroy our community and the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge,” concluded Senator Marcellino
Over the years 10 bridges, tunnels or routes over the Sound have been proposed or studied.