Gov. Andrew Cuomo has some major changes planned for the city’s bridges and tunnels, as toll booths will be removed and replaced with automatic tolling systems. In addition to the automatic systems, new security equipment and color-changing LED lights will also be implemented, along with flood barriers to tunnels. Cuomo also hopes that featuring artwork along these areas will draw international attention from tourists around the world.
In a statement, Cuomo had the following to say:
“From speeding up commutes and reducing emissions on key roadways with automatic tolling to bolstering resiliency on our bridges and tunnels and increasing security at key checkpoints, this transformation project will revolutionize transportation in New York and ensure that our state is built to lead for generations to come.”
The new automatic system will use sensors and cameras that will read E-ZPass tags or license plates so drivers will no longer have to stop and pay tolls at booths. Drivers that do not have an E-Zpass will be mailed a bill for the tolls. The governor’s plan has many goals in mind, including fuel conservation and congestion reduction.
The MTA will be removing several toll booths including those at Henry Hudson Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, RFK Triborough Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. The toll booths will be replaced with the automatic tolling systems as part of the project.
Along with the multi-colored LED lights being added to bridges and tunnels, the new automatic systems will also feature artwork made out of chain mail fabric that will move with the wind. Gov. Cuomo said that the changes will begin taking place in January 2017 and are expected to be finished by the end of the year.
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