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South Nyackers Wary of Noisy Bridge Build

Residents talk, argue with bridge officials over construction plans, noise barrier

Richard Sigglekow isn't against a new Tappan Zee Bridge—"the current one is a mess," he says.

But the South Nyacker, who has lived on Smith Street for over two decades, notes the need for a new span shouldn't translate into constant disruption to hundreds of residents' quality of life.

"The analogy I like is that we're going to have new neighors five years," Sigglekow said. "I'm just looking for them to treat us like good neighbors."

Sigglekow was one of dozens of South Nyackers who met with Thruway and bridge officials Tuesday night to . Affected residents have the opportunity to vote on whether or not a barrier will be constructed—a democratic solution in a process that many have said fails to hear local residents.

"What they got was an audience of a lot of people with a lot of questions," Sigglegow said. He noted the officials present—like the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Michael Anderson—were sincere, but lacked some major answers.

"There were a lot of angry people there," he continued, noting officials couldn't detail the all the changes in noise, or sound off on why some residents have a chance to vote and other do not.

Officials also have yet to specify how the bridge will be funded, though toll hikes and toll-backed bonds are likely solutions. .

Once South Nyackers cast their ballots for the tentative sound barrier, the decision is final.

"If the majority elects not to have a noise barrier built as part of the new bridge construction, the barrier will be deemed 'unreasonable,' and it will not be  possible to change that decision in the future as part of this project," Anderson wrote in a letter prior to the meeting.

Another South Nyacker, Melissa Farrell-McDonagh, echoed Sigglekow's sentiments.

"We found the meeting very distressing last night," she said. "We felt the officials couldn't provide much specific information—they couldn't tell us what the wall would look like, how tall it would be, or how they came to calculate their noise reduction figures. How are we supposed to make an informed vote?"

"Yet vote we must, for we will be held to the results of the vote," she added. "It just doesn't seem right."

But for Sigglekow especially the prospect of excessive noise is daunting—he works from home.

"The impact on me is doubly difficult," he said. "This could affect my income."

He has already been disrupted by the test piles that are currently being driven into the Hudson's riverbed. has been carried out over the past few weeks—and raised the ire of South Nyack residents and officials.

A meeting similar to Tuesday night's is slated for Wednesday evening in Tarrytown.

Richard Kavesh May 17, 2012 at 09:44 AM
It's not just wary South Nyackers that are already wary of the noise from the "noisy bridge build," it's wary Nyackers as well. I live on one of Nyack's most quiet streets, which was the main reason I moved here, way up in Nyack's northwest..Yet I could hear yesterday's pile-driving as clear as day. I fear that we are in for years of this cacphony unless someone, somewhere sues to stop it. If we won't look after ourselves, who will? Certainly not the patrons of this project.
Victoria Ficco-Panzer May 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Riverkeeper has suggested that after the final DEIS is issued,they will bring suit to protect the Atlantic sturgeon,which is an endangered species native to the Hudson.The Thruway Authority answers to no one but the Governor,who deperately wants this new bridge built.
Maggie24 May 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
South Nyack? Nyack? You can hear it, clear as a bell, in Piermont. Like a bass drum being beat outside the window. But that being said, who actually thinks that a "sound barrier" will do any good for anyone? This is water we're talking about, one of the best carriers of sound out there. Wasted $$ unfortunately, just as the bridge--without mass transit--will be.
Richard Kavesh May 17, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Maggie, I think the sound barrier they're talking about is just to shield neighbors from the sound of the Thruway post-construction, not during construction.

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