New Tappan Zee Bridge: S. Nyack residents get a voice on barriers

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) Photo Credit: Rory Glaeseman

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Salisbury Point co-op owners will now be allowed to participate in the construction of permanent noise barriers to be installed near their residences on both ends of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The news follows inquiries made Tuesday by Newsday to bridge project officials, asking why these Rockland County homeowners living at the foot of the bridge -- many with picture-window views of the Hudson River -- were not involved in discussions in the first place.

"We heard the concerns of the residents of Salisbury Point and because of a shift in some of the work, noise levels for that development now reach a level that by federal regulation allows residents to vote on installing a noise barrier," New York State Thruway Authority spokesman Shane Mahar said Wednesday in a statement.

Preliminary pile-driving tests began in March, and the noise level has been increasing, including a loud explosion on June 15 that was part of ongoing soil testing.

State officials have pitched the barriers as a way to reduce noise levels in residential neighborhoods near Thruway entrances to the $5.2 billion bridge.

Salisbury board president Cathy McCue, who has been battling the state to provide solutions to the noise problem that has plagued the 120-unit development, said she came home Tuesday night to a voice mail announcing their inclusion on the next barrier vote.

"I'm appreciative that they're making a step to acknowledge that Salisbury has to be included in decisions that are going to have an impact on us," McCue said.

On May 24, 160 select Rockland and Westchester County residents were mailed ballots to vote on whether to build the barriers. The largest block were the 89 condominium owners at The Quay in Tarrytown, where 58 residents in the waterfront development voted to install the protective walls.

A second round of voting is slated for later this year. Homeowners will have input on the design of the barriers, including the color, textural finish and wall height, state officials said. The structures will run for less than half a mile each, could range in height from 10 to 24 feet and cost about $1 million-per-mile to install.

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