‘Most Beautiful Structure’ in U.S. ‘Dismantled’ in Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley residents are angered a "beautiful structure" is being "dismantled."
On Friday, the New York State Bridge Authority announced today that cashless tolling has been implemented at the Bear Mountain Bridge.
Motorists will now experience non-stop travel under a gantry with state-of-the-art sensors and cameras that read E-ZPass tags and take license plate images. Vehicles with E-ZPass tags will be automatically charged and vehicles without E-ZPass tags will have their license plate image captured and a toll bill mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle via Tolls by Mail NY.
New York State Bridge Authority Executive Director Maureen A. Coleman said:
“The Bear Mountain Bridge has been a vital crossing for residents and visitors for 97 years. This 21st century technology will help speed the trip across the bridge for commuters looking to get to their workplace and for visitors who want to spend more time at their favorite destination in the Hudson Highlands.”
Some Hudson Valley residents are sad to see the toll house at the bridge is being torn down.
Stephen Sepe noticed toll house being removed on Tuesday and wrote the following in The Hudson Valley Facebook group.
I just went over the Bear Mountain Bridge and saw something I found very disturbing. The toll house is being dismantled, replaced by the high speed overhead detectors. I use this bridge often and always admired that toll booth. There was never any doubt in my mind that it was the most beautiful structure of its kind in the country, and was also aware of its historical significance. They could have easily kept the structure even if they installed the high speed detectors. I don’t know whose decision this was, but it is terrible. Whoever it was has just destroyed a major feature of the the most beautiful bridge across our beautiful river. What a shame.
The current toll booths, which were constructed in the 1990s, were scheduled for removal this week, to allow for more seamless flow of eastbound traffic, officials say.
While the toll booth demolition is taking place, drivers will be routed through the current toll plaza area and are asked to proceed with caution.