In last week's Mayor & the Bridge column, Nyack's Richard Kavesh noted engineers should be considering a new Tappan Zee tunnel, not bridge. This week, South Nyack's mayor Patricia DuBow weighed in on the upcoming $16 billion project, and offered her own unique idea—one that's popular among South Nyack residents.
"The building of the current bridge [55 years ago] wiped out whatever downtown South Nyack had," DuBow said. "This new project doesn't affect anyone more than us."
As the engineers and government officials go forward, DuBow hopes they will consider a proposal to convert areas of the old bridge into a community park.
"Where the road from the highway begins on land in South Nyack, we could create an elevated park that would follow the highway for some distance," DuBow said. DuBow believes the project would return to South Nyack land that was originally lost, and act as a terminus for pedestrians, cyclists and commuters.
"We lost a major part of our community [in the 1950s], and there's certainly room for the construction of such a park," DuBow added. "It's a concept everybody likes; I haven't encountered any opposition."
DuBow noted engineers have been involved in the discussion for some time; the project's largest obstacle isn't logistics, but funding. South Nyack is a small enclave—approximately 3,000 residents—and its taxpayers can't foot the required bill, DuBow said. But there may be a solution—a federal solution.
"The project is big enough to be funded by the federal government," DuBow said. "With other, larger, non-local parks, that's where the money comes from."
Like Kavesh, DuBow views trains as the project's paramount feature.
"The transit is a major part of the concept, and its one of the rationales for developing a new bridge and system," she said. "It's the most important part."