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The Outerbridge Crossing, also known as the Outerbridge, is a cantilever bridge that spans the Arthur Kill between Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Staten Island, New York. It carries New York State Route 440 (NY 440) and New Jersey Route 440, with the two roads connecting at the state border near the bridge's center. The Outerbridge Crossing is one of three vehicular bridges connecting New Jersey with Staten Island, and like the others, is maintained and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The others are the Bayonne Bridge (also carrying Route 440), which connects Staten Island with Bayonne, and the Goethals Bridge (carrying Interstate 278 (I-278), which connects the island with Elizabeth).

Outerbridge Crossing
Outerbridge Crossing.jpg
Outerbridge Crossing looking southwest towards New Jersey.
Coordinates40°31′30″N 74°14′49″W / 40.525°N 74.247°W / 40.525; -74.247Coordinates: 40°31′30″N 74°14′49″W / 40.525°N 74.247°W / 40.525; -74.247
Carries4 lanes of Route 440/ NY 440
CrossesArthur Kill
LocalePerth Amboy, New Jersey and southwestern Staten Island, New York City, New York
Maintained byPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
Characteristics
DesignSteel cantilever bridge
Total length10,140 feet (3,091 m)[1]
Width62 feet (18.9 m)
Longest span750 feet (229 m)
Clearance above14 feet (4.3 m)
Clearance below143 feet (43.6 m)[2]
History
OpenedJune 29, 1928; 91 years ago (June 29, 1928)
Statistics
Daily traffic77,107 (2016)[3]
Toll(Eastbound only) As of December 6, 2015:
  • Cars $15.00 (cash)
  • $12.50 for Peak (E-ZPass)
  • $10.50 for Off-peak (E-ZPass)
  • $6.50 (when carpooling with 3 people or more with NY and NJ E-ZPass only)
  • $6.25 (New York or New Jersey issued E-ZPass with registered commuter plan and 3 or more trips into Staten Island, NY during a calendar month)
Location within New Jersey and New York

Contents

DescriptionEdit

 
View from top of tower through truss work

The bridge was named for Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge, the first chairman of the then–Port of New York Authority and a resident of Staten Island.[1][4][5] Rather than calling it the "Outerbridge Bridge", the span was labeled a "crossing", but many New Yorkers and others mistakenly assume the name comes from the fact that it is the most remote bridge in New York City and the southernmost crossing in New York state.[5][6]

The bridge is of a steel cantilever construction, designed by John Alexander Low Waddell and built under the auspices of the Port of New York Authority, now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which currently operates it.[5] It opened simultaneously with the first Goethals Bridge on June 29, 1928.[7] Both spans had similar designs prior to replacement of the Goethals with the current cable-stayed bridge in 2018. Neither bridge saw high traffic counts until the opening of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. Traffic counts on both bridges were also depressed due to the effects of the Great Depression and World War II.

The Outerbridge Crossing has undergone numerous repairs as a result of the high volume of traffic that crosses the bridge each day. On October 11, 2013, the Port Authority announced the completion of the bridge's repaving project.[8]

On March 2, 2017, Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye announced the funding of a study into a potential replacement bridge.[9]

TrafficEdit

The Outerbridge Crossing carried 32,438,000 vehicles (both directions) in 2006, or approximately 90,000 each day. Tolls are collected in the eastbound direction only.

In 2003, the Port Authority raised the speed limit for the three inner E-ZPass lanes at the toll plaza from 15 to 25 miles per hour (25 to 40 km/h), separating these lanes from the rest of the eight-lane toll plaza by a barrier.[10] Two years later, the tollbooths adjacent to the 25 mph E-ZPass lanes were removed and overhead gantries were installed with electronic tag readers to permit E-ZPass vehicles to travel at 45 miles per hour (70 km/h) in special high-speed lanes.[11] Motorists using the high-speed E-ZPass lanes cannot use Exit 1 to Page Avenue, which is located immediately after the toll plaza.

TollsEdit

As of December 6, 2015, the cash toll going from New Jersey to New York is $15 for cars and motorcycles; there is no toll for passenger vehicles going from New York to New Jersey. E-ZPass users are charged $12.50 for cars or $11.50 for motorcycles during peak hours, and $10.50 for cars or $9.50 for motorcycles during off-peak hours.[12]

Tolls are only collected for eastbound traffic. Originally, tolls were collected in both directions. In August 1970, the toll was abolished for westbound drivers, and at the same time, eastbound drivers saw their tolls doubled. The tolls of eleven other New York–New Jersey and Hudson River crossings along a 130-mile (210 km) stretch, from the Outerbridge Crossing in the south to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in the north, were also changed to eastbound-only at that time.[13]

Open road tolling began on April 24, 2019. The tollbooths were dismantled, and drivers are no longer able to pay cash at the bridge. Instead, there are cameras mounted onto new overhead gantries located on the Staten Island side. A vehicle without E-ZPass has a picture taken of its license plate and a bill for the toll is mailed to its owner. For E-ZPass users, sensors detect their transponders wirelessly.[14][15]

In 2019, the Port Authority proposed raising cash tolls to $16. If approved by the Port Authority board, the toll increase will take place in early 2020.[16][17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995), The Encyclopedia of New York City, New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 870, ISBN 0300055366
  2. ^ "Facts & Info - Outerbridge Crossing - The Port Authority of NY & NJ:". http://www.panynj.gov. Retrieved January 19, 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ "New York City Bridge Traffic Volumes" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. 2016. p. 11. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "E. H. Outerbridge, Port Expert, Dies. Head Of Export And Import Firm And Ex-Chairman Of Port Of New York Authority". The New York Times. November 11, 1932. Retrieved March 9, 2008. (note: his daughter was responsible for bringing lawn tennis to the US).
  5. ^ a b c Richman, Steven M. (2005). The Bridges of New Jersey: Portraits of Garden State Crossings. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. pp. 103–104. ISBN 0-8135-3510-7.
  6. ^ Yates, Maura (June 27, 2008). "Happy Bridge Birthday". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved May 28, 2009.
  7. ^ "Two Bridges Open Over Arthur Kill". The New York Times. June 30, 1928. p. 35. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  8. ^ "PORT AUTHORITY COMPLETES OUTERBRIDGE CROSSING REPAVEMENT PROJECT THREE WEEKS EARLY". Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. October 11, 2013.
  9. ^ "Outerbridge Crossing replacement: First steps taken". SILive.com. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "E-ZPass Speed Limit Increased to 25-mph at Outerbridge Crossing" (Press release). Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. June 19, 2003. Retrieved August 8, 2009.
  11. ^ "Express E-ZPass Arrives Tomorrow at the Outerbridge Crossing" (Press release). Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. June 27, 2005. Retrieved August 8, 2009.
  12. ^ "New Toll Fare Rates for the Bridges & Tunnels Effective December 6, 2015 at 3:00 AM". Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  13. ^ Moran, Nancy (August 13, 1970). "One‐Way Tolls Confusing Some Drivers". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  14. ^ Bascome, Erik (June 28, 2018). "Goethals, Outerbridge to get cashless tolling in 2019". silive.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Bascome, Erik (March 15, 2019). "Cashless tolling for Outerbridge Crossing expected by end of April". silive.com. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  16. ^ "Port Authority plans toll, fare hikes, $4 airport tax for taxis, app-based for-hire cars". ABC7 New York. June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  17. ^ Honan, Katie; Berger, Paul (June 25, 2019). "Port Authority Plans Toll, Fare Hikes on Crossings and PATH Train". WSJ. Retrieved June 27, 2019.

External linksEdit