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'We Are the Victims': Salisbury Point Residents Wary of New TZ Bridge

Engineers present possible impacts of a new span

"We didn't bring this upon ourselves," Cathy McCue told an eager audience Monday night. "This project came to our shores."

McCue spoke with over 100 South Nyack residents—many of them from the —Monday evening at the Congregational Sons of Israel in Upper Nyack. The evening was aimed at will have on the co-op community of about 170.

Acoustic and civil engineers hired by Salisbury Point to research the tentative crossing's impact and delve into the state's Draft Environmental Impact Statement presented their findings—and called the document "sketchy" and "deficient."

Brook Crossan, the co-op's acoustic engineer, said the project will likely bring noise—lots more than usual—through residents' walls and windows.

"When the new proposed bridge is build, it will be moved north, closer to Salisbury Point," Crossan said. But the DEIS fails to examine the outcome of the shift, Crossan noted.

"It's been deficient from the very beginning," he said.

Among the major issues not addressed in the DEIS are how construction noise will mesh with local laws, how sounds will be transmitted across the water, what equipment will be used and what times of the day and week work will be carried out, Crossan added.

He also noted residents who live in the higher-up apartments, toward the fifth and sixth floors, will see increased noise from passing cars.

Crossan was accompanied by civil engineer Nat Parish, who echoed his skepticism of the DEIS.

"You can't make an omelet with out breaking an egg, but that doesn't mean the egg has to splatter all over the place," Parish said, adding that the DEIS document does not contain enough detail.

He also sounded off on the prospect of transforming the current span into a pedestrian walkway, a concept governor Andrew Cuomo . Parish said it is a novel idea, but could result in visitors swiping residents' parking spaces.

Though representatives from the Department of Transportation were invited and listen on the agenda, there were none present. 

McCue took to the podium to discuss broader concerns, like funding and possible health problems.

"Just how much will this bridge cost?" she asked. "Will tolls really be as high as $30? Where is the financial plan?"

"What will the frail and elderly of Salisbury Point pay?" she added, expressing anxiety that dust kicked up by construction could lead to health complications.

About halfway through the two-hour discussion, residents had a chance to ask questions to the engineers and present politicians, like assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and South Nyack mayor Patricia DuBow.

Several queries focused on the ambiguity of financing options for the $5.2 billion project. “We’re broke now,” one resident said.

Bob Wolff, a 91-year-old sports broadcaster who has lived at Salisbury Point for 35 years, said making a stir is essential.

"To win this war—and it is a war—we have to get the public behind us," he said. "Because the politicians are putting this thing through. We’re running out of time."

One South Nyack mother noted if her questions are not answered, she will pitch a tent on politicians' lawns until they are—a sentiment that earned her a swift round of applause.

"When my house becomes inhabitable, I'll have nowhere else to go," she said.

Jimmy April 24, 2012 at 02:41 PM
$30 toll is being used as a scare tactic.The old bridge falling down would be worse. I'm sorry it will affect these people but it is for the greater good.
Richard Kavesh April 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM
The only language that the Thruway Authority and the DOT understand is the brute force of a lawsuit. Otherwise we will just get a bridge that will be obsolete on day one. Pitching a tent will do no good. The lucky ones are the people whose houses get condemned -- at least they will get fair market value. The most unfortunate are those, like the Salisbury Point owners, whose property values will be degraded if not destroyed by building a new bridge next door. Unless Nyack, South Nyack, Grandview, Tarrytown, Riverkeeper, etc. get together and file a lawsuit, this steamroller will keep on going, unimpeded and at full speed via the "fast track."
Andrew List April 24, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Sorry, a new bridge has to be built. I understand that there are people who will 100% be negatively affected by this but when you have a bridge as heavily traveled as the Tap is and is on the verge of falling down, we need to do something. Perhaps we can look for more ways to do soemthing for these people in the apts but I can say with certainty that NOT building the bridge is a non starter.
John Gromada April 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Why is not building the bridge a non-starter? It is not structurally deficient and the state does not say it is- they say it is 'functionally obsolete'. The deck has almost now entirely been replaced, and other repairs to the span would cost far far less than 5 billion. Tolls ARE going to cost $20-30 dollars, and the good thing about that is that it will reduce traffic! people aren't going to go out of their way to avoid the bridge. The BAD thing is that it will be more expensive for us locals who need it, and it will put a damper on economic activity in our communities. Start thinking outside the box-
Bob Fallon April 25, 2012 at 01:01 PM
The idea that a union leader and Coumo would seek to put not one but two bridges over the Hudson is nothing short of a disaster. This will be "Coumo's Catastrophe". Bob Fallon
Alex Umrichin April 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
The current bridge does need replacement because the main pilings are wood. The deck and the superstructure may be sound but that's like putting siding on rotted wood. I would have preferred a tunnel starting at about 303 in West Nyack to about Hawthorne but not replacing the existing structure is a road to economic ruin for Rockland.
Jerry April 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Governor Andrew is not at all like Mario... From Wilipedia: "(Mario Coumo) first became known in New York City in the late 1960s when he represented “The Corona Fighting 69,” a group of 69 homeowners from the Queens neighborhood of Corona, who were threatened with displacement by the city's plan to build a new high school. He later represented another Queens residents group, the Kew Gardens-Forest Hills Committee on Urban Scale, who opposed Samuel LeFrak's housing proposal adjacent to Willow Lake in Queens. In 1972, Cuomo became more well-known across and beyond New York City when Mayor John Lindsay appointed him to conduct an inquiry and mediate a dispute over low-income public housing slated for the upper-middle-class neighborhood of Forest Hills."
Emma Smith April 25, 2012 at 03:33 PM
We tried to save the Salisbury House, and it got demolished to build Salisbury Point. We tried to save South Nyack from the destruction of the building a bridge (being built at the widest point of the Hudson). So it's 2 for 2, for the "the greater good"; good luck with this newest battle.
John Gromada April 25, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Jimmy- $30 is not a scare tactic. Read this: http://www.komanoff.net/cars_II/Bridge_Too_Big.pdf
Jerry April 25, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Scarier still is....a $30 toll, and no mass transit to avoid it!
E. Loughran April 26, 2012 at 05:28 AM
WHY???? does a new bridge HAVE to be built? Agree with J. Gromada...continue to maintain the one we've got...and add a tunnel for through traffic. This project will cost too much money...that NO ONE has...will raise taxes on homes that will be devalued forever. The bridge is not "falling down". Stop this boondoggle!!!

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