After Monday's vote to proceed with the plans to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge, I perused River Keeper's website to see what their objections were to the project. They aren't opposed to a new bridge, but they are indeed rightly concerned that the process be approached responsibly and that the execution be as environmentally friendly as possible. I am too, but make no bones about it: those of use who work on both sides of the Hudson and use that span often would really like to see a new bridge built sooner rather than later.
Will it be a financial boondoggle? Probably.
Will environmental advocates be completely satisfied with everything? Probably not.
I want to see a new bridge already. I think we need to just pull the bandage off and proceed with this. Let's put some people to work and get a bridge that we can drive across with peace of mind. Then, let's argue about something else, like what kind of high speed rail we can add to the span to minimize the vehicle count.
Does this mean I want Riverkeeper and other environmentalist groups to shut up and get out of the way? Quite the contrary- my father didn't spend the bulk of his twenties in World War II and Korea fighting for anyone to have their right to free speech suppressed.
There will always been tension between commerce and caution. I hope the groups concerned for the environment and transparency of the process are heard loud and clear. That is, just as long as some of that noise is the sound of construction of the new bridge we need.