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Cuomo lays out plan to abolish NYS Bridge Authority

Jan 24, 2020 12:30 pm
Jon Campbell is reporting for the Times Herald-Record under a proposal put forward by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this week, the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, along with four other Hudson River bridges as well as the Walkway Over the Hudson, could soon have a new owner. Cuomo January 21, announced a plan to abolish the state Bridge Authority as part of his $178 billion budget plan. If Cuomo gets his way, the state Thruway Authority would then assume ownership of the Rip Van Winkle, Kingston-Rhinecliff, Mid-Hudson, Bear Mountain and Newburgh-Beacon bridges, as well as the walkway. The governor's proposal would allow the operation of the state’s toll bridges north of New York City to be consolidated and, in theory, could save the state money, particularly as the authorities move ahead with cashless-tolling projects. Freeman Klopott, a spokesman for Cuomo’s budget division, said the merger makes sense. “Both authorities have overlapping roles and combining them will create the opportunity for efficiencies and an alignment of resources particularly as they both establish cashless tolling,” he said. Richard Gerentine, the chairman of the Bridge Authority’s board, said he only learned Tuesday that Cuomo was going ahead with the merger proposal. He expressed concern over the plan, and called for a study of the potential merger’s impact before going ahead with anything. Read the full story at record online [dot] com.