Jacobson Blasts Proposed Bridge Authority Merger
Assemblyman Jonathan G. Jacobson (D-104) is blasting Governor Cuomo’s proposed abolition of the New York Bridge Authority and its merger into the New York State Thruway Authority, saying it would be devastating to both the economy and the overall quality of life in the Hudson Valley.
Jacobson said, “The Bridge Authority is highly regarded for its efficiencies. Tolls are kept low and the five bridges in its portfolio are all kept in good repair. Should this ill-thought merger go through and the Bridge Authority is eliminated, the benefits and efficiencies currently enjoyed by Hudson Valley residents will be lost. Given the Thruway Authority’s record, there will almost certainly be an increase in tolls and a decline in the condition of a critical part of the region’s infrastructure.” Jacobson continued, “These five bridges constitute a vital link between municipalities on both sides of the Hudson, offering residents a fast, safe, and reliable way to get to work, shop, attend school, and visit doctors and other services across the river from their homes. Residents do not think twice about crossing the river because of the low tolls. This will end should the tolls go up dramatically as expected with this merger.”
Established in the 1930s, the Bridge Authority is responsible for the Rip-Van Winkle Bridge, the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, and the Bear Mountain Bridge. Tolls are kept the same for each bridge and are currently $1.25 EZPASS/ $1.50 cash. The proposed 2020 increase to $1.65 EZ-PASS/ $2.15 cash will still be the lowest in New York State. The Thruway Authority currently charges $4.75.