Press Release Article


Date: Jun 27, 2005
Press Release Number: 76-2005

Bridge is First in the Region to Allow Customers to Pay Tolls at 45 mph

At 3 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28, the Outerbridge Crossing will become the first bridge in the New York-New Jersey region to offer Express E-ZPass — a highway-speed toll plaza that allows E-ZPass customers to pay tolls at 45 mph.

Governor George E. Pataki said, “Our region has now moved into the next phase of electronic toll collection. Highway-speed toll lanes process up to 1,800 vehicles per hour. The capacity increase that Express E-ZPass provides is a huge boost for the 16 million customers who use the Outerbridge Crossing annually. These new express tolls will make it easier and faster for millions of motorists.”

Acting New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey said, “The debut of Express E-ZPass illustrates our continued commitment to reduce delays and congestion on our roads. Express E-ZPass helps drivers get to their destination quickly and safely.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Two years ago this week, we implemented the first 25-mph E-ZPass speed limit at the Outerbridge Crossing. I am pleased to celebrate yet another milestone, as we welcome Express E-ZPass.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Express E-ZPass is the latest in a series of enhancements to our E-ZPass system. Highway-speed toll collection benefits E-ZPass and non E-ZPass customers alike, by reducing congestion and keeping our roads safe.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “We have worked diligently since February to implement Express E-ZPass, and tomorrow we will proudly unveil our first highway-speed toll plaza. This is another great achievement for the Port Authority and the region.”

U.S. Representative Vito Fossella said, “Staten Islanders want solutions to reduce the traffic congestion that is clogging our local roads, highways and bridges. The only way we are going to solve this problem is by utilizing new technologies and exploring innovative ideas. Highway-speed E-ZPass will improve traffic flow on Route 440 and on the bridge itself, reduce congestion and increase convenience for many Staten Island motorists. I am delighted to have secured $350,000 for this important traffic improvement project and thank the Port Authority for their commitment to enhancing commuting for Staten Island motorists using the Outerbridge Crossing.”

To prepare for Express E-ZPass, three tollbooths were removed and replaced with overhead gantries that house electronic equipment for reading toll tags and enforcing toll violations.

Overhead signs will be posted on approach roads leading to the toll plaza. A concrete barrier before and after the toll plaza will separate Express E-ZPass customers from slower moving traffic.

The Outerbridge Crossing is the first Port Authority crossing to implement Express E-ZPass. In June 2003, the Outerbridge Crossing also was the first Port Authority facility to implement an E-ZPass Only 25-mph speed limit, followed by the George Washington Bridge’s Palisades Interstate Parkway toll plaza in December 2003. The Goethals and Bayonne bridges and the George Washington Bridge’s lower level toll plaza introduced 25-mph E-ZPass-Only toll lanes in 2004.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Container Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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