Construction of cashless tolling infrastructure at the Rip Van Winkle now underway
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media construction got underway this week to install the new cashless tolling infrastructure on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. Equipment arrived July 12, and drilling to build the foundation for the electronic gantries began the following day on the Greene County side of the span. A trench has been excavated on the western side for the installation of cables from the brick administration building to the gantries. A completion date for the project is currently unknown. All five bridges under the jurisdiction of the New York State Bridge Authority are transitioning to cashless tolling. The system enables drivers with E-ZPass tags to pay for passage over the bridge by driving beneath the electronic gantries. Drivers without E-ZPass will have their license plate photographed and will then be billed by mail. Cashless tolling has already been implemented at the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and the Bear Mountain Bridge is expected to follow suit in the fall, then the Rip Van Winkle. The cost of converting all five bridges to cashless tolling will be approximately $30 million. The tollbooths will be removed but a demolition date has not yet been scheduled. By next spring the toll plaza will be reconfigured into a new traffic pattern, a spokesperson for the bridge authority said. Traffic traveling east will pass through lane 1 and go under the gantry. Once the toll booths are removed, westbound traffic will no longer have to shift to the right to bypass the toll booth. It will instead travel straight through, where lanes 2 and 3 are currently located. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.