Brittany ComakMar 1, 2018, 6:49 pm

People who live on both sides of Gov. Cuomo’s proposed tunnel say they don’t want it

Long Island, Westchester leaders raise their voices in hopes of changing governor's mind

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OYSTER BAY — Those who live on the North Shore are calling on Governor Cuomo to reconsider his proposal for a tunnel from Long Island to Westchester, citing concerns that the extra traffic in their area will impact water quality.

It was in January during his State of the State address that Governor Cuomo announced he was interested in creating a tunnel and possibly a bridge that would connect Oyster Bay to Rye.

"This program is ill-conceived,” Senator Carl Marcellino said. “We hope we can convince the governor that to stop it, not to do it. We hope by our presence here saying again, 'no, this is not where you should do this. This is not a good idea.'

And Westchester County legislators feel similarly, saying they are keeping an open mind but quote:
"there needs to be much more review and due diligence conducted by all interested and affected parties before new york state starts reviewing any bids to build this tunnel. We will push for more transparency and an open and objective review process."

Environmental activists are concerned about how the construction and later on traffic would affect both air and water quality.

Bayman Robert Defeo says it’s a huge threat to his livelihood.

"All the sediment and everything would suffocate all of the clams, all the fish. Every living thing under the water would pay for it, and what do we do after that? I'm out here 31 years. So what am I going to do, go get a town job?" Defeo said.

The estimated $55 billion project is aimed at reducing congestion; however, one homeowner says it would likely do the opposite in her area, forcing millions of cars through her neighborhood.

"The whole character of the North Shore would be totally ruined by all this traffic. And I'll have to put my house on the market because I don't want to live in the city, and that will bring the city out here," Locust Valley resident Joan Schultz said.

FiOS1 News reached out to the governor's office for comment but have not yet heard back.

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