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.
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.