By Robin Jovanovich and Tom McDermott
The idea of building a bridge from Long Island to our shores is not a new one. Back in the late 1960s, “master builder” Robert Moses, with support from Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, proposed a bridge from Oyster Bay to Rye to alleviate congestion on the Long Island Expressway.
Rye Mayor Ed Grainger, realizing that this was not going to be the “gossamer thread across the Sound” as Moses described it, worked with his counterpart in Oyster Bay, and stunningly stopped Moses in his tracks in 1973.
Fast forward to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address last month in which he mentioned that a tunnel across the Sound was “feasible”. He went on to describe it as “underwater” and “invisible”. In fact, Mr. Cuomo’s administration had already been instructed to allot $5 million for the Department of Transportation to study such a project.
The results of the feasibility study by WSP, a global tunnel and bridge design firm, are in. One of their three recommendations, at a cost of $53 billion, is for the tunnel to begin in Oyster Bay and end in Rye. WSP estimates 113,000 would cross every day.
We stopped a bridge, and we will stop the tunnel was the immediate response from many local officials.