By Will Wei
Designed to last only 50 years due to material shortages during its construction at the time of the Korean War, the Tappan Zee Bridge is six years past its expiration date.
Its creaky columns and cranky potholes cost the New York state government $50 million a year on repairs.
As a result, the federal review and approval process of building a replacement bridge was expedited by the Obama administration this past October. With the possibility of a new bridge looming, state officials now have to decide on what to do with the 56-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge.
According to the New York Times, Governor Cuomo and his aides claim that the demolition of the Tappan Zee Bridge would cost $150 million. As an alternative, they’re considering converting the three-mile long bridge into a walkway similar to the High Line park on Manhattan’s west side.
At the same time, Cuomo says that the proposed replacement bridge would be accessible to bikers and pedestrians. Meaning, if the new bridge proposal is approved, there could be parallel bridges for non-driving commuters.
Even if it means that there would be an overlap in function, the Tappan Zee Bridge should definitely go the way of the High Line, which has proven to be a popular spot for tourists and New Yorkers alike.
A concrete park would certainly fall in line with Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative of turning the city into a greener, more sustainable place. And, come on, an urban park that sits above the water of the Hudson River? F’in awesome.