Hudson River bridge tolls to increase for E-ZPass users
Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman drivers who use E-ZPass will pay higher tolls to cross the Hudson River in the Mid-Hudson region starting next month. As of May 1, the cost of an eastbound bridge crossing on each of the five spans operated by the New York State Bridge Authority will increase from $1.35 to $1.45 for passenger cars. The cash price will remain $1.75, the rate in effect since last August. The May 1 increase is the second in a series of toll hikes planned by the authority, which operates the Kingston-Rhinecliff, Mid-Hudson, Rip Van Winkle, Newburgh-Beacon, and Bear Mountain bridges. The Bridge Authority will use the increased revenue mainly to finance the redecking of the westbound span of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. That bridge, which connects southern Dutchess County to Orange County, is the authority’s busiest span and is considered an important connector in the Northeast highway network, carrying Interstate 84 over the Hudson. Authority spokesperson Chris Steber said the roughly $90 million project was awarded to Yonkers Contracting Co. in June 2020 and work began in July 2020. On Tuesday, contractors will begin setting in place the steel grid deck panels that will be filled with concrete. The project is expected to be completed in late 2022. Steber said revenue generated by the toll increase also will help fund projects in the Bridge Authority's five-year capital plan. "Since the Authority receives no appropriations through tax dollars, tolls make up about 97 percent of our revenue," Steber said. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.