Letter: Build a better Tappan Zee plan

The Tappan Zee bridge photographed on the north

The Tappan Zee bridge photographed on the north side during a tour provided by the New York Thruway Authority. (March 13, 2012) (Credit: Rory Glaeseman)

Your editorial suggests that the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project would not harm endangered sturgeon, but the state's own data prove otherwise ["Hudson fish in good hands," Oct. 2].

This summer, federal officials set strict limits on how many sturgeon the project may kill. The state then admitted that the actual number killed could be 35 times higher than what federal officials authorized. That means this project may wipe out these iconic creatures.

Throughout the environmental review process, Hudson Riverkeeper raised fact-based concerns regarding impacts to the Hudson River and effects on local communities; bridge tolls are likely to triple and there won't be mass-transit alternatives. In response, the state has gone into political overdrive, rushing to build the bridge now, and making generalized promises to deal with mass transit later.


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The editorial states that "New York can both build a new bridge and maintain a healthy ecosystem." Perhaps, but the state is far from that goal right now.

New York State must -- and can -- do more to reduce the impacts on sturgeon, American shad and other valuable fisheries.

Protecting the Hudson may be an upstream fight, but it's one Riverkeeper is not afraid to wage when the stakes are this high. Since we're also pushing for transit alternatives to solve our region's growing congestion problems, it won't just be the fish who'll win if we're successful.

Paul Gallay, Ossining

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Hudson Riverkeeper, a nonprofit advocate for clean water.

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