ALBANY – State Senator Sue Serino (R, Hyde Park) has urged the New York State Bridge Authority to delay raising the bridge tolls on the five Hudson River crossings in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
The first scheduled increase is to take effect on May 1, but Serino said considering the paused economy with COVID-19, the toll increase should be put on hold.
“Right now when you think about it, it is our essential workers, our nurses and our doctors, that are using the bridge so, at this time, I think we should be holding off just like we have held off on a lot of other things for a few months until we get through this COVID episode, and is all we are asking the Bridge Authority to do,” she said. “I know they spent a lot of time and they haven’t had a raise in 10 years, so we understand that, but I think the timing of this is really not great.”
The Bridge Authority, meanwhile, said the new tolls set to take effect on May 1 “are the result of an extensive and lengthy public review process that closely followed a regulatory implementation timeline.”
The agency said the majority of drivers will see an increase of a dime.
“Tolls, as they always have been, are used exclusively to pay for major capital projects and necessary maintenance on our Hudson River bridges,” the authority statement said. “Most critical among these projects is the re-decking of the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge’s north span. Reinvestments like these in our local bridges provide construction jobs and keep our Hudson Valley patrons safe on these important economic connectors for the Valley.”
The full details of the toll revision can be found at http://www.nysba.ny.gov/Index%20Page/NYSBAWeb_TollSchedInfoV1.html.