From the Daily News:
Despite a red light in funding from the governor early this month, the state is moving forward with the much-anticipated project to replace the Kosciuszko Bridge, officials said.
The state Department of Transportation will be forced to make a number of budget cuts after Gov. Paterson deemed its five-year capital program too expensive, but plans to replace the 70-year-old span will not be halted, an agency spokesman said.
The $25.8 billion capital package allocated $403.9 million for the first construction phase of the new Kosciuszko Bridge, with 80% paid for by the feds.
The project, which got the green light from the Federal Highway Administration earlier this year, remains on schedule to begin in fiscal year 2013-14, Levine said.
The feds will put up 80% of the estimated $1.7 billion it will cost to erect the new bridge.
The state DOT held a meeting for stakeholders on Oct. 20 to vote on eight design plans presented by PB Americas Inc.
From that vote, the top three were selected for further development by a team of architects, and the results will be presented at a public open house currently expected to be held in January, Levine said.
In all the design plans, the height of the span is significantly reduced, lessening the incline so as to avoid slowing truck traffic from the on-ramps.
The new Kosciuszko Bridge will also include shoulders and a total of nine traffic lanes - five eastbound and four westbound. The eastbound portion will also have a bikeway and walkway.
Though residential land has been acquired for the project, negotiations are still ongoing for a number of commercial properties and will continue through the end of next year, Levine said.