New York State's Thruway Authority Board has selected a $3.14 billion plan to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, the New York Post reported.
The plan was the least expensive of three finalists to build the bridge, which spans the Hudson River north of New York City.
That bridge, which opened in 1955, was designed to last 50 years. It is now six years past its projected lifespan, and is crossed every day by 138,000 vehicles, 40 percent more than it was designed to support, the New York Times reported.
It has no lanes or shoulders for emergency vehicles, and maintaining it over the next twenty years would cost between $3 billion and $4 billion, the Thruway Authority Board says.
The new bridge will meet environmental standards, support mass transit, and should take just over five years to build. It will have eight lanes and a pedestrian and cyclist path, and is designed to last more than 100 years.
According to The New York Post, the State is hoping for a $2.9 billion loan from the federal government to cover the majority of the cost. Construction would begin next year.
The bridge crosses the Hudson at a particularly wide point, making its design and construction more expensive. According to the New York Times, New York Governor Thomas Dewey chose the location because it fell just outside the domain of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, giving the State the right to construct the bridge and keep its toll revenues.
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