With milestone, bridge becomes the Port Authority’s first all-cashless tolling facility
The Bayonne Bridge’s new elevated roadway will open to drivers on Monday at 5 a.m., ushering in a new era for the 85-year-old arch bridge that will now become the Port Authority’s first all-cashless tolling facility.
The new roadway is 215 feet above the Kill van Kull and 64 feet above the original bridge deck. It is part of the Port Authority’s “Raise the Roadway” initiative to provide navigational clearance for the larger, Neo-Panamax container vessels.
When the new roadway opens to vehicular traffic, the existing toll plaza will be taken out of service and replaced with an overhead gantry, mounted with electronic toll collection equipment. Drivers will no longer slow down or stop at a toll booth, and will benefit from being able to continue driving through the crossing at the posted speed limit.
Along with the traffic shift and implementation of cashless tolls, the agency is planning to significantly reduce daily daytime, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., closures. In addition, drivers can expect less frequent weekend closures.
Until further notice, oversize and/or overweight trucks and special vehicles are not permitted to use the Bayonne Bridge in order to accommodate the ongoing Bayonne Bridge construction. All other commercial vehicles can travel at the posted speed limit for Cashless Tolling.
More than 90 percent of Bayonne Bridge drivers already use E-ZPass, and they will experience no other changes. However, E-ZPass users must make sure their tag is properly mounted in the vehicle’s windshield, to ensure it will be detected by the electronic toll collecting equipment.
For the less than 10 percent of Bayonne Bridge drivers who do not use E-ZPass, an overhead camera will photograph the vehicle’s license plate and a toll bill will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner. These bills must be paid by the due date noted on the bill. Unpaid toll bills will be assessed additional fees and ultimately escalate to violations, with a $50 fee assessed for each violation.
Further information about cashless tolling at the Bayonne Bridge can be found at www.panynj.gov/BayonneToll.
The Port Authority aggressively enforces toll payment through a multi-pronged approach that focuses primarily on persistent toll violators. Unpaid toll violations are sent to a collection agency and may be pursued through litigation. Toll evaders also may face criminal charges and arrest by Port Authority Police. The agency also partners with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to seek the suspension of vehicle registrations for persistent violators with New York-registered vehicles.
Please note that delinquency in tolls for any Port Authority bridge or tunnel crossings precludes participation in special grant-funded programs such as the Truck Replacement Program.
When the new roadway opens, all traffic crossing Route 440 between Bayonne, N.J. and Staten Island, N.Y. will be directed by signs to the bridge’s new approach roadways and over the elevated span.
Anyone who holds a commercial E-ZPass account with an E-ZPass Agency and does business with GCT New York are eligible to participate in the GCT New York Toll Reimbursement Program.
Steps to Join the GCT NY Toll Reimbursement Program
- Visit the GCT-NY website (NYCTtolls.com) and click on the GCT New York Toll Reimbursement Program button. The link will ask candidates to supply their specific E-ZPass and checking account information.
- Reimbursement payments begin within 5 days of a candidate’s approval.
Please note that reimbursements are deposited on a weekly basis. For more information, please visit www.NYCTtolls.com or call the hotline at 718-683-3245.
At first, the new Bayonne Bridge roadway will continue to accommodate one lane of traffic in each direction. The new roadway will reach its full width – four 12-foot lanes plus inner and outer shoulders, a median barrier and a 10-foot shared-use path for cyclists and pedestrians – by 2019.
More information about the Bayonne Bridge “Raise the Roadway” project, including a time-lapse video of construction and on-side camera feeds, can be found here.
To receive real time traffic updates, travelers should register for the Port Authority’s Bridge and Tunnel Alerts at http://www.paalerts.com/, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org or www.511NJ.org.