Opposition intensifies to a Long Island Sound crossing

- An organization has revved up the opposition to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to build an 18-mile tunnel under the Long Island Sound that would connect Oyster Bay in Nassau County to Rye in Westchester.

"Simply put, this is a bad idea for New York," said Peter Janow, the executive director of the Coalition Against an UnSound Crossing. "These resources will be better spent finally fixing the roads we already have—the highways, the parkways, the bridges and tunnels, and other infrastructure that exists or is absolutely needed."

The project, which remains in the very early stages, would cost some $55 billion and take up to 20 years to complete. Variations of it have been floated for decades but now with Cuomo's consideration, people against it worry the work may move forward.

"I think the pollution from the ventilation towers is our biggest concern as well as the risk of drilling through our aquifer system," Bayville resident Jen Jones said.

"I live a couple of blocks off of [Route] 135," Plainview resident Larry Weiss said. "We're concerned about that road backing up all the way to the other end."

But Mitchell Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute, said that any way to improve traffic flow on Long Island is essential to the economy and environment.

"The ability to have people get on and off the island at places other than those existing at the moment, which we know are severely congested, will be an improvement for Long Island," Pally said.

But Linda Henninger of the Kings Park Civic Association countered that.

"I think they're interested in jobs and that's fine but that's finite," Henninger said. "What's going to happen to the environment will last forever. The damage will last forever."

The Coalition Against an UnSound Crossing plans to continue fighting. The group is working on hiring an independent company to conduct its own study.

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