The Cost of Turning the Tappan Zee into a High Line-Style Park

Governor Cuomo has endorsed a feasibility study on the once-long-odds Tappan Bridge Park. Like most issues in New York, though, this one will come down mainly to money—specifically, the $150 million that the State says we’d be paying to demolish the bridge.

“We don’t have numbers yet,” admits Milagros Lecuona, an urban planner and White Plains councilwoman who co-chairs the Tappan Bridge Park initiative. Until we do, similar projects can be instructive.
The Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie cost about $40 million, with less than $25 million of the money from the state or federal government. Even doubled—the three-mile-long Tappan Zee is about twice the length of the Walkway—the taxpayer contribution of the Walkway makes the Tappan Park look like a bargain.

But the New York Times points out the first two sections of Chelsea’s High Line cost $152 million, $108 million of which came from taxpayers. The High Line is also about half the length of the Tappan Zee, so a comparable estimate would be more than $200 million.

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Lecuona’s urban-planning graduate students at Columbia should have a feasibility study by the end of this month.