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Vanderhoef: Rail Should Connect TZ, Grand Central

County Executive discusses new span, vision in WNYC interview

In an interview with WNYC Tuesday morning, Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef expressed his vision for a new Tappan Zee Bridge.

"It's one I believe in: ultimately, commuter rail which runs across the Tappan Zee Bridge to Grand Central Station and up to Stewart Airport," Vanderhoef said on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Vanderhoef was joined by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. The two politicians, both Republicans, agreed on the importance of building a replacement—but noted it has to be done "right."

"Once we build the bridge, there's no going back to make it wider," Astorino said. "We have to position this bridge for the future, for future generations."

Vanderhoef said doing so likely means including mass transit—an option the state and federal government have deemed too pricey, but one residents have .

Currently, the bridge is anticipated to cost $5.2 billion; estimates for including rail boost the price tag upward of $15 billion.

But Vanderhoef and Astorino said mass transit can be implemented for much less, and both are championing the recent announcement that the new span .

Leher played a sound clip during the interview of governor Andrew Cuomo addressing the span's price. Cuomo has been in touch with Vanderhoef and Astorino over the past few weeks.

"You can build whatever you want—you then have to pay for what you build," Cuomo said. He noted toll hikes will likely play a role in financing the project.

Vanderhoef also sounded off on the concept of .

"We'd have to pour money into it," he said, dismissing the notion. He added that the span would not be able to weather a major earthquake.

art gunther III July 17, 2012 at 06:01 PM
REMEMBER GEORGE A history lesson: The George Washington Bridge was opened in 1931 with the promise of rail on the lower level, but in the early 1960s Robert Moses and the highway lobby killed that wonderful idea in favor of more vehicle lanes and the awful Alexander Hamilton Extension. That is why there is so much congestion today on the George. Let us not make the same mistake on the new TZB, using planned rail space for trucks and cars. The highway lobby is already chomping at the bit.
Watchdog July 17, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Is anything Vanderhoef says or does even the slightest bit relevant?
Reallynow July 17, 2012 at 11:55 PM
NO
John Taggart July 18, 2012 at 10:05 PM
There isn't going to be a rail until some years down the road, unless the federal government drops a load (billions) of GRANT money on the project. All we can do is keep the idea fresh and keep pushing for it till then. They should try to keep some of the old bridge at each end as a park and just remove the middle.

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