The state has taken a second step in choosing the builder of the new $5.2 billion Tappan Zee Bridge by asking four bidders to submit their final proposals by July 27.

The government's March 9 invitation to the four finalists is detailed in an official request for proposal that is more than 1,000 pages long. The specifications call for the building of a span that can hold up in hurricanes and earthquakes and last for at least 100 years without requiring major maintenance.

The request also requires that the designs provide:

Bikeways and pedestrian walkways.

Capacity for future bus rapid transit and commuter trains.

An estimated $400 million in contracts that will generate 4,000 jobs for "disadvantaged businesses," including companies owned by minorities, women and disabled war veterans.

The document also states the need for more public hearings but does not specify a timetable. "We will have meetings and will continue to do our outreach," said New York State Thruway Authority spokesman Andy O'Rourke.

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Bidders originally were scheduled to submit their proposals in late June. But O'Rourke said the state pushed the deadline back five weeks to give bidders more time to analyze "smart early geotechnical work" being done by government researchers. The state's data about the river's subsoil and conditions are expected to be finished by May.

Community groups and advocates also welcome the additional time to study the new request for proposal document's details. "It's massive," said Veronica Van terpool, associate director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "We definitely need time to sift through it. We are looking for language that identifies how the bidders will address mass transit on the bridge."

The new, fast-tracked bridge project was initiated on Nov. 21, 2011, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo rescinded an existing decade-old plan to rebuild the 57-year-old span. According to the Thruway Authority, working on the old plan resulted in more than 430 public meetings and $88 million in planning and environmental studies.

In early February, the state took its first step toward selecting a bridge designer-builder by announcing four qualified bidders. The finalists consist of major companies that are competing in four teams for the contract:

Hudson River Bridge Constructors (Dragados USA, Flatiron Constructors, Samsung C&T, E&C Americas and Yonkers Contracting Co.)

Kiewit-Skanska-Weeks Joint Venture (Kiewit Infrastructure Co., Skanska USA Civil Northeast and Weeks Marine.)

Tappan Zee Bridge Partners (Bechtel Infrastructure Co. and Tutor Perini Co.)

Tappan Zee Constructors (Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge Co., Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros.)

A copy of the request for proposal is posted on the state's website for the project,