When Will the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge Traffic Nightmare End?
It looks like there could be some relief coming soon for those who are frustrated with the endless construction on the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge.
If you've traveled on I-84 between Dutchess and Orange County over the past year, you know just how terrible traffic has become thanks to a major redecking project on the westbound span.
Last year the NYSBA revealed plans to redeck the bridge, requiring a complicated reconfiguration of traffic patterns. East and westbound travelers are now sharing the southernmost span, with only one tight lane occasionally open on the westbound span. The massive project has resulted in traffic being diverting back and forth from both sides of I-84 depending on the day, eliminating breakdown lanes and causing long delays.
On Sunday, traffic was backed up as far as the New York State Thruway with travelers heading east towards the bridge. The construction delays can add up to a half-hour to any trip that takes Hudson Valley drivers over the River.
When will traffic finally get back to normal?
The one thing every commuter wants to know is when the madness will end. It looks like some relief will actually be coming over the next few weeks, but construction isn't going to end any time soon.
Governor Cuomo surprised Hudson Valley drivers at the beginning of the year when he announced that work on the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge would end nine months sooner than expected. While that's great news, the project was originally slated to end in late 2022, which means we will be dealing with this at least through another winter.
Relief is coming in the next couple of weeks
While construction will continue for quite some time, the NYSBA did announce a major change to the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge that is expected to cut down on traffic congestion for eastbound travelers. Starting after the Fourth of July weekend, toll booths will stop taking cash on the Beacon side of the bridge. The toll plaza is going to be completely cashless, which means that no cars will need to stop to pay their toll. Instead, cameras will capture the license plates of any car without an EZ Pass tag and send a bill directly to their place of residence.
While this won't speed up the construction project, it is expected to lighten congestion on the eastbound side of the bridge by allowing all traffic to keep moving through the tolls without stopping. Skeptics, however, wonder if confusion over the new toll policy will actually cause more of a traffic problem. Authorities promise that in the long term, the change will keep traffic moving and eliminate unnecessary backups.
Have you been inconvenienced by construction on the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge? Tell us about your experience on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.
READ MORE: 39 Photos Of The Mid Hudson Bridge Under Construction