Senator Carl L. Marcellino, Supervisor Joseph Saladino and local Mayors joined with members of the Oyster Bay Community to oppose the Cross Sound Tunnel or the hybrid Bridge- Tunnel proposal from Rte. 135 to Rye, NY. The project has an estimated cost of $55 billion.
“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, the state should use the estimated $55 billion on the 17,437 bridges that need repair that has a projected cost of $67.7 billion,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset).
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino stated, “I stand united with our residents in opposition to a cross Sound bridge or tunnel in Oyster Bay as it would adversely affect the character of local communities, negatively impact our air quality and threaten our environment. In the deeded rights to the harbor, it is specifically stated that any bridge or tunnel is strictly prohibited.”
The Western Alignment Concept connects the LIE to I-95 in Westchester via Oyster Bay in Nassau County and Rye/Port Chester in Westchester County. Starting at the NY 135 corridor that extends north from the Jericho Turnpike (NY 25) Interchange, the proposal would extend the existing Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135) north approximately 0.5 mile through residential and commercial areas into a tunnel portal. The tunnel structure would continue 9 miles north, to beyond the shoreline of Long Island. At that point, it would either remain as a tunnel to Westchester, or transition to a 6-mile bridge then to a 1-mile tunnel where it would portal in Westchester at the intersection of I 95 and I-287. Two man-made islands would be constructed, each approximately 1 mile off the Long Island and Westchester shorelines, in order to transition from tunnel to bridge structure.
“This potential project could destroy the fabric of the impacted communities, disrupt the fragile ecosystem of the Sound and spawn countless lawsuits. It is simply a non-starter. 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,” said Senator Marcellino
“It is absurd that we are revisiting this project that was killed 50 years ago. This is one of the most ecologically sensitive areas on Long Island that deserves to have all of the protections that were won five decades ago," said Peter Quick, Mayor, Village of Mill Neck
“This is the wrong tunnel, in the wrong location at the wrong time. My grandfather was the architect for the Holland, Lincoln, Brooklyn-Battery and Queens Midtown Tunnels. He designed the massive ventilation buildings – some capable of completely changing the tunnel's air every 90 seconds. The feasibility study anticipates the Western tunnel to ventilate at the two openings with a ventilation shaft also on the Oyster Bay side. How will that impact our air quality?” said Elliot Conway, Mayor, Upper Brookville
“Governor Cuomo should be focusing on more pressing long neglected NYC related mass transportation projects before embarking on huge, extremely costly new bridge or tunnel project that isn't necessary,” said Charles Goulding, Mayor Village of Oyster Bay Cove
“It is time to put an end to this intellectually, morally, and financially bankrupt idea, for the sake of all Long Islanders and our children’s future here,” said Daniel DeVita, Mayor of Laurel Hollow.
“The proposed Cross Sound Tunnel is a waste of our time, energy and money that diverts valuable resources from other more worthy concerns, projects and goals for Long Island and New York State,” said Carol Harrington, Deputy Mayor, Village of Lattingtown.
“Planning a Sound Crossing over or under Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor is contrary to the numerous designations from every level of government to protect the ecologic and economic benefits of the cleanest embayment in western Long Island Sound. The Oyster Bay Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee would prefer New York State invest in water quality monitoring, stormwater remediation and other environmental efforts which would reap far greater benefits for residents at substantially lower cost,” said Rob Crafa, Coordinator, Oyster Bay Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee
The Long Island Sound is one of the most important estuaries in the nation. In 1985, Congress allocated funds for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to research, monitor, and assess the water quality of the Long Island Sound. In March 1988, the Long Island Sound was identified as an Estuary of National Significance and the Long Island Sound Study (LISS) became a part of EPA's National Estuary Program.
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 the establishment of the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1968. The National Audubon Society has designated this estuary as an "Important Bird Area."
All tunnels require large ventilation towers for the expelling of vehicle exhaust, spewing large amounts of diesel and gasoline fumes into our communities. It is not known how many will be needed for a tunnel (or tunnels) of this magnitude or how close to land they would be located.
"Friends of the Bay stands with Senator Marcellino and other local officials in opposition to the proposal to build a tunnel or a bridge from Oyster Bay to Rye. Besides the obvious negative impact on the environment and the devastating effect on local communities, the tunnel would cost billions of dollars. Those funds would be better spent on repairs to the more than 2000 existing bridges that have been deemed structurally deficient, and on updating mass transit so that New York State can work towards a cleaner, more sustainable future," Heather Johnson Executive Director, Friends of the Bay
Over the years more than 10 bridges or tunnels over the Long Island Sound have been proposed or studied – all have been rejected.