A $55 billion bridge over the Long Island Sound?

The price tag to build a bridge, tunnel, or a combination of the two across the Long Island Sound to link Long Island to either Westchester County, New York, or somewhere in Connecticut is some $55 billion, according to a study commissioned by New York State.

The authors of the study dismissed proposals linking Wading River to Connecticut. They say connecting either Oyster Bay and Westchester or Kings Park and Connecticut would effectively promote new opportunities for economic growth in the region.

Despite New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's endorsement, the project has many local opponents. Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said such a project would change the landscape of the communities and create problems for his town. He said Sunken Meadow in Kings Park is a much better option.

However, Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim disagreed. He said that he does not support the project at this time because he does not know what it will look like.

The study estimates that more than 86,000 vehicles would use the crossing every day and that drivers would pay about $500 million in tolls each year.  

Hofstra University National Center for Suburban Studies Executive Dean Larry Levy, a political analyst, called it a "dream project" for future generations that would better Long Island.

"It would open up the region to the rest of the country," Levy said. "It would reduce pollution and it would make property values on Long Island go up in most places because it would extend its reach geographically."

Cuomo ordered the Transportation Department to look into additional engineering, environmental, and financial analyses to determine the best path forward.