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NYC Scales Back Plans For City Island Bridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- City Island residents were claiming victory Sunday in their fight against a planned new bridge to the rest of the Bronx that they thought was out of scale with their small, maritime community.

As WCBS 880's Monica Miller reported, the de Blasio administration unveiled plans for a scaled-down bridge Sunday -- plans that were largely met with approval from community leaders.

The cable-stayed bridge proposed in September under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg would have included a 130-foot tower. Community leaders filed a lawsuit to halt construction.

NYC Scales Back Plans For City Island Bridge

Under the previous plan, the bridge would have been like "landing the Starship Enterprise at LaGuardia Airport. It was just too big," said state Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx/Westchester.

The de Blasio administration put together a new design that would cost $5 million less, according to city Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

City Island Bridge
Artist rendering of proposed new City Island Bridge (credit: NYC Department of Transportation)

"I'm so pleased to stand with the community today and present a bridge design that works for all of us," Trottenberg said.

Barbara Dolensek of the City Island Civic Association was among those who applauded the new design.

City Island Bridge
Community leaders unveil plans for a new City Island Bridge on May 4, 2014. (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

The plan still needs local, state and federal approval. Construction would take about three years.

The new design features a clean, simple aesthetic with lighting and other elements inspired by the existing, 113-year-old bridge, officials said. It also aims to have minimal impact on the waterway below and have unobstructed views of Pelham Bay Park and Eastchester Bay.

"We're willing to put up with it because now we know where it's headed," Dolensek said.

NYC Scales Back Plans For City Island Bridge

Many City Island residents, however, care less about the bridge's aesthetics than they care about traffic congestion.

"It just takes so much more time to get on and off the island, and is the traffic is just really, really bad," Richard told 1010 WINS' Roger Stern.

Richard said he would like to see a lane on the new bridge to be used exclusively by people who live on the island.

New City Island Bridge
A rendering for a plan for a new City Island bridge in the Bronx. (Credit: New York City Department of Transportation)

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