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Will a Long Island Sound Crossing Happen in our Lifetimes?

3016 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  SSCwarrior
This undoubtedly would be the biggest infrastructure project for the NYC Metropolitan Area in the past two centuries. The idea has been tossed around for over half a century.
In recent news, a multi-million dollar study by WSP was concluded to determine the feasibility of a bridge or tunnel today. A tunnel to Westchester (New York State to New York State) appears to be preferred, but it would come at a steep cost and with fierce NIMBY resistance.
Currently, the only way from the mainland to Long Island (pop 2.86 million) via road travel is through the city. A connection to the northern suburbs would provide much needed alleviation from congestion.

Westchester tunnel across Long Island Sound takes next step

New York officials appear to have zeroed in on Westchester for a potential tunnel across the Long Island Sound and are now turning to the private sector to gauge interest.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration issued a formal request Friday to the construction industry and private-equity investors, urging them to express interest in building a tunnel from Long Island.


The new "Request For Expressions of Interest" from the state Department of Transportation specifically targets contractors and private investors that have experience in major infrastructure projects.

In order to submit, a contractor must have led a bridge or tunnel project of at least $1 billion in size, while equity investors would need experience with individual projects exceeding $500 million.

Contractors and investors that don't meet those requirements would be able to put together a broader partnership, similar to the consortium of companies involved in building the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connecting Westchester and Rockland.

Those who are interested are asked to submit ideas and how they would build and, perhaps more importantly, pay for a tunnel. The deadline to submit ideas is April 2.


Westchester to Long Island tunnel would cost up to $55 billion, study shows

When Cuomo had originally proposed the study in 2016, he signaled three potential landing spots for the crossing: Westchester, Connecticut or the Bronx.

The Bronx, however, dropped out of the plans at some point, with the WSP study focusing specifically on Westchester and Connecticut.

A single tunnel tube with two lanes each way between Oyster Bay and Rye or Port Chester, for example, would carry an estimated $31.5 billion price tag, according to WSP.

A dual-tube tunnel with three lanes each way would reach $55.4 billion, while a bridge-tunnel hybrid would come in at $43.5 billion.

A bridge, meanwhile, would be significantly less expensive -- about $8 billion, according to the estimate -- but isn't technically viable, the study found.

A bridge from Kings Park to Rye or Port Chester would cost an estimated $17.5 billion, with a bridge-tunnel hybrid coming in at $27 billion. That alignment, however, would have significantly less daily demand among motorists, according to WSP.
To Connecticut, a bridge-tunnel hybrid to Bridgeport comes in at an estimated $22.7 billion. To New Haven, the cost would rise to $32 billion.
At least five years would be needed for scoping and environmental reviews and approvals if Cuomo decides to move forward. After that, at least 1 1/2 years would be needed for the design phase.

From there, a crossing could open approximately eight years after the start of construction, according to the study.
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or for 1/1000th of the cost, get a high speed ferry between the two spots. Not as fast as a bridge or tunnel but beats the 2-3 hours to drive through the city.
...if only:

1. East Side Access and Gateway (and MNRR/West-Side Access) were conceived as one, comprehensive plan focused on connecting GCT & PSNY - with provisions for a future southern extension towards downtown.

2. The city/state had committed to the proposed LIRR extension of the Atlantic Branch to the WTC Transit Hub

3. Proper long-term, planning had been undertaken over the last decade to ensure interoperability of all commuter rail services to enable through-running across the entire regional rail network (Amtrak, NJT, SEPTA, MNRR, LIRR...

4. Eventual conversion of PATH for inter-city trains to allow through-running from Hoboken to downtown/midtown Manhattan (via Jersey City), with the long-term goal of connecting the 33rd street terminus to the southern stub of the ESA-Gateway connection and on to WTC to enable a proper RER/SBahn-style, regional railway network...

...this could have been a really nice idea - particularly, as a bridge.

As it stands, I'm not sure how wide-ranging the benefits would really be; especially if they don't include provisions for rail, which - given experiences with Tappan Zee, Bayonne, and Goethals bridges - I'm not positive will be on the table :/
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It will only happen under one condition: the end of the local construction fraud. Even with high wages $55 billion is bogus for this size of a project. Give it to the Europeans and you'll be finished after 10.

Many of these jobs that seem to make constructions like the LIRR connection to GCT are non-existent, stolen by managers.

And probably there is also a problem with the price of awarded concessions as well. We had such a thing in the Netherlands. Bouwfraude was a plague in the Netherlands, until a whistleblower came outside with it. It's no mystery why despite economic growth many construction projects in the Netherlands during the start of the millennium had huge financial problems.

Only when this is solved I think the sound bridge/tunnel can be built.
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They should have built it decades ago. Too expensive now.
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55 billion dollars?! wtf.. is the tunnel gold plated or what?
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