BRIDGES: New Tappan Zee Bridge off to a green start

Environmental impact statement indicates marine life will be protected

Bridges News Times Union August 02, 2012
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The existing Tappan Zee Bridge will not be an example of green infrastructure, but the new span is off to a good start.


On Aug. 1, the state of New York said in a report that it plans on protecting fish and wildlife and people during construction of the $5.4 billion structure. Bubble curtains will be used during pile driving, protecting marine life from harmful acoustics, and the environmental impact statement recently concluded that the new Tappan Zee Bridge would have no major, lasting environmental effects. Dredging appears to be one of the few downsides of the project. The report pointed out that the operation would affect some life forms in the riverbed, but the contractor must take on environmental programs elsewhere in the river to compensate.


Some officials hoped the existing Tappan Zee Bridge would remain standing and turned into a walking greenway, but the state of New York said it would demolish the span when the new one is open to traffic.


The environment impact statement also showed no changes for rapid transit running across the bridge. The Tappan Zee will be strong enough to handle commuter trains, but no new transit lines will be built. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office indicated that during rush hour some lanes would be dedicated to buses.

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