Tappan Zee toll plaza on South Nyack side to come down once new bridge is up

An electronic toll collection system on the Tappan An electronic toll collection system on the Tappan Zee Bridge has been proposed for Exit 10 in South Nyack and may be in place by 2015. (April 18, 2013) Photo Credit: Angela Gaul

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State officials assured South Nyack on Thursday that an overhead toll plaza planned for the construction phase of a new Tappan Zee Bridge will come down once the twin-span bridge is completed.

South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian emerged from an hourlong meeting at Village Hall on Thursday afternoon saying the state had allayed her fears that the all-electronic gantry would remain over the Westchester County-bound lanes after the new bridge goes up.

"We are not going to have this electronic device as permanent," Christian said.

A letter will be added to the $4 billion contract with Tappan Zee Constructors outlining the agreement reached Thursday, Christian said.

She commended Brian Conybeare, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's special adviser on the bridge project, for listening to the village's concerns.

"He knows how upset South Nyack had been when we heard about it," Christian said.

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The village is considering opening up the area to commercial business that might include a bicycle shop or restaurants once the bridge is completed, Christian said.

The toll plaza could be erected as early as next year over the eastbound lanes between Franklin Street and the Route 9W overpasses at the end of the Exit 10 entrance ramp.

It would remain there for 3 1/2 to four years, at which point toll collection would be shifted back to Tarrytown, the site of the current toll plaza. State officials said the overhead gantry could not remain in Tarrytown during the building phase because the area will serve as a construction staging ground.

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"At the end of the construction, the permanent toll system will be back in Tarrytown, where the current toll plaza is, just as the plan has been," Conybeare said. "South Nyack has a vision for interchange 10. We don't want to do anything that precludes that vision. We want to work with them on this."

Both sides agreed to continue to meet regularly to air any concerns they might have about the five-year bridge project.

"We've established a good working relationship," Conybeare said. "The system works. We saw an issue. We brought it to them and we worked with them."

With an all-electronic tolling system overhead, drivers pass through without stopping. If a vehicle doesn't have E-ZPass, cameras take a photograph of the license plate and a bill is sent to the owner.

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