NY state officials are contemplating the idea of converting the current Tappan Zee Bridge into a pedestrian walkway after it’s highway bridge replacement is built.
By PETER APPLEBOME
Published: February 22, 2012
It seemed quixotic at first, but maybe the idea of turning the Tappan Zee Bridge into a walkway after a new bridge is built is not so far fetched after all.
State officials said Wednesday that they were exploring the possibility of turning the three-mile-long bridge into a route for pedestrians and bicyclists along the lines of the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan, or the equally successful Walkway Over the Hudson linking Poughkeepsie and Highland.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and aides said at a cabinet meeting in Albany that it would cost $150 million to demolish the existing bridge, which carries the New York State Thruway, so turning it into a walkway connecting Rockland and Westchester Counties was worth exploring.
“Could you leave it up, and what are the economics and the practicalities of that?” Mr. Cuomo said at the meeting. “It’s an exciting option.”
After more than 10 years of study, building a new bridge finally seemed to reach critical mass last fall when it was one of 14 projects chosen by the Obama administration for expedited federal review and approval — possibly allowing work on a new $5 billion bridge to begin as early as spring 2013. The bridge is 56 years old — 6 years past its anticipated life span — and needs $50 million in maintenance and repairs annually.
After the project was announced, the idea of preserving the old bridge was raised by Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh town supervisor, who proposed a walkway. The idea immediately gained support from biking and pedestrian groups. In January, the newly formed Tappan Bridge Park Alliance said that a walkway “would generate economic and community development to the region by providing a world-class destination and a much needed open space in the congested Lower Hudson Valley.”
My grandfather "Henry Fredrickson" also helped build this bridge. Do you know the Ironworkers Union that was used to build the bridge? I would also like to see some pictures.
My grandfather, Aldo "Otto" Saporito, helped build this bridge. Would you happen to have any historical photos of it being built?
Angela Saporito Farnham