After , concerned Rockland residents have received a small dose of vindication—the new Hudson span will include part-time dedicated bus lanes that run during peak hours, state officials have said.
The news was announced by governor Andrew Cuomo's staff Thursday afternoon. Andrew O'Rourke, a spokesman for the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA), confirmed the announcement Friday.
"We are working on the details," he said.
The dedicated bus lanes would operate during morning and evening rush hours. The new crossing is slated to house 14 lanes across two parallel spans.
Officials could not comment on what lanes the buses would use, or the exact hours the lanes would be in effect. It is also unclear whether the lanes will run north-bound and south-bound simultaneously.
"As we have repeatedly said, the new bridge will support enhanced express bus service the day it opens, even if connecting infrastructure is not yet available in Westchester or Rockland Counties," said NYSTA executive director Tom Madison. "The plan for a safer, more modern bridge includes eight general traffic lanes as well as additional wider lanes that would accommodate a pedestrian/bike lane, emergency breakdown lanes, and a dedicated bus lane."
Veronica Vanterpool, the executive director of regional non-profit Tri-State Transportation Campaign, seeks to bolster transit options across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. She said she is pleased with Cuomo's news, but noted it is just one step in the right direction.
"Tri-State Transportation Campaign applauds the state's effort to be more accountable to the public process by responding to the thousands of pleas for transit on the new bridge," she said. "However, the Campaign calls on the New York State Thruway Authority to expand dedicated bus lane service beyond peak hour periods and to expand the dedicated lane into the I-287 corridor in both Westchester and Rockland Counties."
The new span's ambiguous financing is another feature that has drawn attention, though officials have said its $5.2 billion price tag will be funded entirely by taxpayers, and that toll hikes and toll-backed bonds will likely help pay the way. The NYSTA's credit outlook was by Standard and Poor's.
In past weeks, governor Cuomo , ensuring there will be no strikes during the span's build. Other elements of the agreement are estimated to have saved taxpayers about $450 million.
In late May, the state announced it for the project—a decision that angered some homeowners who had long been preparing to relinquish their property.