Drivers on the MTA’s two Queens-Bronx bridges should have a clearer path ahead of them, now that most of the toll booths at the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges have been removed, officials said Tuesday.
One week after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented cashless tolling at its last two crossings, construction has been completed on the final configuration for the new-look crossings, MTA Bridges and Tunnels spokesman Christopher McKniff said.
That work included the demolition of toll booths, concrete islands and canopies in the center of toll plazas, McKniff said. The completion of the work this past weekend allowed the center of the plazas to be reopened for traffic. Vehicles were previously being diverted around the work.
The new open-road, cashless tolling system works by having elevated gantries scan E-ZPass transponders. For vehicles that don’t use E-ZPass, the gantries take photos of license plates, and the owners are sent an invoice by mail for the toll amount.
“The tolls booths have been completely removed from the active roadways at both crossings, and traffic is flowing unimpeded under the gantries,” McKniff said.
Although work remains to remove some toll booths on the outer edges of the plaza, McKniff said those are not in areas that will ever be open to traffic. He said traffic has improved and should continue to do so, as vehicles at both bridges can move through the center of the plaza.
However, he noted, both bridges are still affected by congestion outside the MTA-owned and operated spans.