Says Hudson Valley authority should merge with state agency
Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month proposed that the New York Bridge Authority, which owns six Hudson Valley bridges, including Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon and Walkway Over the Hudson, should be absorbed by the New York State Thruway Authority.
The New York Bridge Authority maintains the five vehicular bridges with $60 million in annual proceeds from tolls. Cuomo says a consolidation would reduce costs. If the proposal went through, the Thruway Authority board would add an eighth member to represent the Hudson Valley.
The five-member Bridge Authority board in December approved gradually raising the $1.25 EZPass and $1.50 cash toll on its bridges over the next three years until they reach $1.65 and $2.15. A public hearing is scheduled for March 9 at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.
Jonathan Jacobson, whose district in the state Assembly includes Beacon, said in a statement that he opposed any merger, calling the Thruway Authority “notoriously troubled” while the Bridge Authority is “highly regarded for its efficiencies.”