Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this week announced “Alternative F” was selected as the design for the New NY Bridge project’s shared-use path connections in Westchester and Rockland. The decision followed a thorough review of the alternative’s impacts and benefits to the local communities.
“The New NY Bridge is a transformational project that will make travel safer and more efficient for residents and visitors,” Governor Cuomo said. “The process for selecting the shared-use path connections showcases the progress that can be achieved when we focus on community engagement and delivering results for the people we represent. These community additions will make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to take advantage of the new bridge, and add new amenities on both sides of the Hudson. (Alternative F) provides yet another addition to the New NY Bridge’s overall vision of a 21st Century infrastructure network.”
The shared-use path will be located on the northern span of the new bridge, accommodate bicycle and pedestrian connections, and include new parking lots and visitor facilities in Tarrytown and South Nyack. Many alternative designs for these facilities were developed and evaluated by the project team as construction of the new crossing progressed on the Hudson River.
“Innovative, sensible solutions that work for local communities are what we strive for in the public sector,” Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch said. “Alternative F provides dedicated off-street parking, increases safety and accessibility and, at the same time, doesn’t interfere with future local planning initiatives. When it opens, the shared-use path will offer an exciting new way for people to cross the Hudson River.”
In March, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the New York State Thruway Authority, and the state Department of Transportation hosted a pair of public hearings in Sleepy Hollow and South Nyack to share terminus concepts with community members. The hearings were attended by more than 180 people, who were asked to comment on the alternatives. Officials also accepted comments via mail, email and fax.
“From its very start, the New NY Bridge Project has been a showcase of environmental stewardship,” FHWA Administrator Gregory G. Nadeau said. “The work done by the New York State Thruway Authority, the New York State Department of Transportation and the project managers to ensure Alternative F met all federal environmental requirements has been nothing short of incredible, and will serve as a great example for projects of all sizes for years to come.”
Alternative F was selected due to extensive community support received through the comment process, citing the utilization of Interchange 10 in South Nyack and the substantial distance of facilities from the nearby South Nyack residential neighborhood. Under this design, the Rockland terminus will include a 54-space parking lot and comfort station, which will be constructed on vacant land within the southeastern section of Interchange 10. Drivers will access the parking lot from Route 9W. As part of the plan, the on-ramp to the southbound Thruway from South Broadway will be permanently closed. However, drivers will still be able to access the northbound and southbound Thruway from Route 9W.
“This is fantastic news for our community,” South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian said. “Alternative F was overwhelmingly supported by our residents, and we are extremely pleased with this outcome. On behalf of South Nyack, I thank Governor Cuomo and the Thruway team for listening to—and acting on—our concerns.”
At the Westchester end of the shared-use path, a 30-space dedicated parking lot, visitor pavilion and outdoor seating will be provided on Thruway property north of Interstate I-87/I-287, adjacent to Interchange 9 in Tarrytown and the new Thruway maintenance facility being reconstructed as part of the bridge replacement project. On weekends and during non-work hours, an additional 105 parking spaces will be available to the public.
“We’re looking forward to the opening of the shared-use path and eagerly anticipate that this amenity will provide an enjoyable experience for our residents, visitors and businesses,” Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said.
Construction on the path linking Rockland and Westchester Counties is expected to begin in 2017, and is slated to open concurrent with the completion of the twin-span New NY Bridge in 2018. The total cost to implement Alternative F is approximately $16 million.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey said Alternative F will “help preserve quality of life and economic opportunity in our communities.”
“The New NY Bridge Terminus will welcome visitors and present another opportunity for the economic growth our area needs,” Lowey said.