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Tappan Zee Bridge Park Idea Brings Mixed Reactions

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow residents had mixed reactions to the idea of turning the old Tappan Zee Bridge into a park once the new bridge is built.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner proposed the idea , saying it would be economically beneficial to the town and its river villages.

“It could be very, very exciting,” Feiner said. “I feel that it could be a really amazing destination point.”

Tarrytown resident Roy Stilling questioned whether the proposed park would be safe.

“I thought the reason why they want to build a new bridge is that the existing one is going to be too dangerous to use in a decade or so's time?” he wrote on The Daily Tarrytown's Facebook page .

Sleepy Hollow Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said the proposed park would be appealing to residents and tourists, noting that many people like to exercise and participate in biking and running races. However, Giaccio questioned whether the project would be financially feasible: the bridge would still have to be maintained.

“The idea is creative,” he said, later adding that it's worth exploring whether it could actually happen.

Tearing down the old Tappan Zee Bridge would be a shame, not to mention expensive, Tarrytown resident J. Peter Pagano said. Pagano said the proposed park would be terrific.

Irvington Mayor Brian Smith, however, said the park idea is unlikely since the detoriating bridge would cost millions to maintain. Pedestrians might have a lesser impact on the bridge than cars, he said, but the state would still have to pay to maintain it.

Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said it was tough to give his opinion without an actual project to review.

“The idea could be excellent and certainly deserves further consideration,” Fixell said.

The project wouldn't have a direct economic benefit to the village government, Fixell said, because it probably wouldn't be taxable or provide fee revenue. The project could, however, help local businesses by drawing in tourists to the area.

It would also be great for residents, Fixell said.

“It could be a terrific asset that would make Tarrytown an even better place to live,” Fixell said.

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