New Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino, Town Councilwoman Michele Johnson, Town Councilman Louis Imbroto and Town Councilman Thomas Hand joined their colleagues in government and the local environmental organization Friends of the Bay in urging the New York State to abandon any plan to construct a bridge or tunnel across Long Island Sound. Officials praised a recent decision by the Federal Railroad Administration to withhold funds for a Cross Sound Rail Project.
“Residents of Long Island received great news when the Federal government announced that they would not fund a Cross Sound rail project,” stated Councilwoman Michele Johnson. “While this is a relief for our community and a saving grace for our environment, we remain concerned that New York State will continue its path toward building a cross sound bridge or tunnel.”
Supervisor Saladino stated, “The Federal Railroad Administration got it right! A Cross Sound rail makes no sense whatsoever. Not only would it ruin the character of local communities and our quality of life, but it would threaten our environment, our shoreline and the costs far outweigh the benefit. New York State must now follow suit, end their dream of a Cross Sound bridge or tunnel.”
“It is a blatant waste of taxpayer dollars to study an idea that has already been proven to be unacceptable and which makes no sense for the area,” Councilman Imbroto added. “I don’t need to see the results of the State’s $5 million study to know that any project of this kind could destroy the fabric of the Town’s suburban North Shore, dissect beautiful communities and cause permanent and irreparable damage to the area’s cherished eco-system.”
“The North Shore of the Town of Oyster Bay and Oyster Bay Harbor comprise some of the most scenic and beautiful areas of the country and we will work diligently to maintain and protect it for the benefit of future generations,” Councilman Hand concluded. “All of us in government have a responsibility to our residents to object to any project which will do nothing but significantly increase traffic, and put protected wildlife in jeopardy. That is why my colleagues and stood our ground together on this issue and pledged to be a united front in the fight to defend our pristine North Shore.”
Gathered to demonstrate their solidarity in opposition to the project included New York State Assemblyman Michael Montesano, County Legislator Donald MacKenzie, County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Village of Mill Neck Mayor Peter Quick, Village of Laurel Hollow Mayor Dan DeVita, Village of Centre Island Mayor Lawrence Schmidlapp, Village of Bayville Deputy Mayor Joe Russo and Trustee John Taylor, Village of Upper Brookville Mayor Elliot Conway, Village of Massapequa Park Mayor Jeffrey Pravato and Paul DeOrsay of Friends of the Bay.