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Driving to the West Side of NYC Will Be Easier After This

photo courtesy MTA
photo courtesy MTA

Ever feared for your life while approaching the toll booths on the Henry Hudson Bridge?

Trying to stop all those lane hogs and last-minute changes, the MTA will start re-configuring lanes on Monday. Those two narrow toll lanes will be replaced by one wider lane—the theory being that that cars driving across the bridge in the center lane will feed directly into the toll plaza and out. 

For a more detailed explanation, read their complete press release: 

The Manhattan-bound Henry Hudson Bridge toll plaza is being reconfigured to merge two narrower toll lanes into one wider lane to improve traffic flow for motorists both before and after the toll plaza.

The two toll lanes that are being combined are under 10-feet wide and will be merged into one 11-foot-6-inch lane with striped buffers on either side. The work, which is dependent on good weather, will take approximately three weeks to complete and is expected to begin March 24.

“After analyzing traffic since the all-electronic tolling pilot began, we noticed that we could provide a seamless transition from the bridge, through the toll plaza and onto the Henry Hudson Parkway by combining two narrower toll lanes into one,” said Bridges and Tunnels Traffic Engineer Patrick Sbano.

This is a positive change for drivers since the Manhattan-bound toll plaza not only has narrow toll lanes but a reverse curve as motorists pass through the plaza. Sbano said once the work is finished, cars driving across the bridge in the center lane will feed directly into the new wider lane, eliminating most last-minute lane switching before the toll plaza. Drivers also won’t have to merge into one lane after passing through the toll island once the wider, single toll lane is in place.

The work, which is being done in-house by Bridges and Tunnels maintenance personnel, includes removing the concrete islands from the lanes, repositioning and then reinstalling toll lane equipment into the new wider toll lane, and re-striping the lane once construction work is finished.

 Project Manager Joe Gugliero said a work zone will be created around the two lanes to be combined and that signs will be in place to safely direct motorists to available toll lanes.  

 The first week of the project involves eliminating the concrete islands from the plaza and may be noisy at times. In order to get the work done as quickly as possible and lessen impact on traffic, some work may occur overnight. “We are very aware of the close proximity of our neighbors in Riverdale and will make every effort to minimize work during overnight hours whenever possible,” Gugliero said.

 Signs will be in place before the bridge and on the bridge to alert drivers to the temporary traffic pattern that will be in place while the work is being done.

Stephen Shea March 18, 2014 at 03:55 PM
It's been well over 25 years that work on that bridge began and that's when it was a 10 cent toll. When will work finally be finished? Donald Trump stepped in and reconstructed Wollman ice skating rink in a few months. Maybe we need another Donald to do the same for the Henry Hudson bridge.

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