Total Estimated Project Cost:
The purpose of the project is to maintain a vital link in the regional and national transportation network by providing an improved Hudson River crossing between Rockland and Westchester Counties. The existing bridge was built in 1955 and now serves approximately 138,000 vehicles per day. While safe to the traveling public, the bridge does not meet current standards for its design or traffic operations. The project would improve structural, operational, mobility, safety, and security features of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Initial planning for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement considered further highway and transit improvements along the corridor, which would have required much higher funding levels. In 2011, while advancing a financial analysis of the larger corridor project, New York State determined that funding was not available to complete the larger scope of improvements. As a result, the project scope was reduced to match available financing and the project was re-scoped and downsized to focus solely on the Hudson River crossing independent of other highway and transit elements. This rescoped project does not preclude such improvements in the future. The Tappan Zee Bridge provides the only interstate highway crossing of the Hudson River for the 48-mile stretch between the George Washington Bridge (Interstate 95) and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge (Interstate 84). It is a vital link between the population and employment centers of Rockland and Westchester Counties and is a major route for freight movement. During the past 20 years (1990 to 2010), traffic volumes have grown by almost 30 percent on the Tappan Zee Bridge volumes are highest during the morning eastbound commute and the evening westbound commute, but the bridge is prone to severe congestion during non-commuter periods as well. The Tappan Zee Bridge carries more than 5,000 vehicles per hour during 15 hours (7 AM to 10 PM) on a typical weekday. The bridge serves as a major freight route between points east and west of the Hudson River. It is a primary over-land gateway to New England for goods delivered to the Port of New York and New Jersey. The bridge is also a bypass route around New York City for trucks traveling between New England and points south and west of New York City. The bridge replacement project involves both state and federal resource agencies concerned with the navigation of the Hudson, the removal and disposal of materials from the Hudson River bed, the impacts on protected fish species as well as the historic nature of the bridge, among others. Because of all of these interests and recognizing the significance of this project not only to the region but also as a priority project for the President, significant coordination and communication efforts are underway. This project is on an aggressive schedule that seeks to deliver a project in compliance with environmental regulations while expediting the review process.