"We didn't bring this upon ourselves," Cathy McCue told an eager audience Monday night. "This project came to our shores."
McCue spoke with over 100 South Nyack residents—many of them from the —Monday evening at the Congregational Sons of Israel in Upper Nyack. The evening was aimed at will have on the co-op community of about 170.
Acoustic and civil engineers hired by Salisbury Point to research the tentative crossing's impact and delve into the state's Draft Environmental Impact Statement presented their findings—and called the document "sketchy" and "deficient."
Brook Crossan, the co-op's acoustic engineer, said the project will likely bring noise—lots more than usual—through residents' walls and windows.
"When the new proposed bridge is build, it will be moved north, closer to Salisbury Point," Crossan said. But the DEIS fails to examine the outcome of the shift, Crossan noted.
"It's been deficient from the very beginning," he said.
Among the major issues not addressed in the DEIS are how construction noise will mesh with local laws, how sounds will be transmitted across the water, what equipment will be used and what times of the day and week work will be carried out, Crossan added.
He also noted residents who live in the higher-up apartments, toward the fifth and sixth floors, will see increased noise from passing cars.
Crossan was accompanied by civil engineer Nat Parish, who echoed his skepticism of the DEIS.
"You can't make an omelet with out breaking an egg, but that doesn't mean the egg has to splatter all over the place," Parish said, adding that the DEIS document does not contain enough detail.
He also sounded off on the prospect of transforming the current span into a pedestrian walkway, a concept governor Andrew Cuomo . Parish said it is a novel idea, but could result in visitors swiping residents' parking spaces.
Though representatives from the Department of Transportation were invited and listen on the agenda, there were none present.
McCue took to the podium to discuss broader concerns, like funding and possible health problems.
"Just how much will this bridge cost?" she asked. "Will tolls really be as high as $30? Where is the financial plan?"
"What will the frail and elderly of Salisbury Point pay?" she added, expressing anxiety that dust kicked up by construction could lead to health complications.
About halfway through the two-hour discussion, residents had a chance to ask questions to the engineers and present politicians, like assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and South Nyack mayor Patricia DuBow.
Several queries focused on the ambiguity of financing options for the $5.2 billion project. “We’re broke now,” one resident said.
Bob Wolff, a 91-year-old sports broadcaster who has lived at Salisbury Point for 35 years, said making a stir is essential.
"To win this war—and it is a war—we have to get the public behind us," he said. "Because the politicians are putting this thing through. We’re running out of time."
One South Nyack mother noted if her questions are not answered, she will pitch a tent on politicians' lawns until they are—a sentiment that earned her a swift round of applause.
"When my house becomes inhabitable, I'll have nowhere else to go," she said.