Developer eyes tunnel between Rye and Long Island

A proposal calling for a tunnel connecting Rye and Long Island's Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway sparked strong responses Wednesday.

Developer Vincent Polimeni calls the $10 billion plan the Cross Sound Link Project. Polimeni proposes the construction of three tunnels carrying six lanes of traffic, which he estimates would have a traveling capacity of 80,000 vehicles a day.

Rye Brook resident Kathy Carley-Spanier is in favor of the tunnel. "I would love to see the plans because to me that would relieve some traffic between New York, Connecticut and Westchester. And there's lots of economic growth that could occur from it also," she said.

Polimeni said the third, backup tunnel provides a safety net in addition to reducing congestion. "In case of an emergency - flooding of tunnels or the bridges get stopped - we need another way of getting emergency vehicles here or off in either direction," he said.

Not everyone was in agreement.

"The proposal would be a disaster for all of Westchester County," said Rye Mayor Steven Otis. "It would turn Interstate-287 and Interstate-95 into parking lots much in the way the Cross Bronx Expressway is impassable today."

A Westchester County spokesperson said it is premature to take a position at this time.

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