Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced cashless tolling will go live at the Harriman Toll Barrier in the overnight hours with operations beginning late Thursday night, September 27 into Friday morning, September 28, weather permitting. The transition to cashless tolling at Harriman complements the $150 million Woodbury Road, Transit and Economic Development Hub, which Governor Cuomo announced in November 2017 to help ease traffic and spur economic development around the Woodbury Premium Outlets area.
"We're making historic investments to bolster our infrastructure and modernize our transportation network to stay ahead of the curve, and cashless tolling is a key part of that effort," Governor Cuomo said. "Cashless tolling at the Harriman toll plaza will ease congestion for millions of motorists each year and help strengthen the region's economy by providing greater access to Woodbury's economic hub."
Led by the New York State Thruway Authority, the project will convert the Harriman Toll Barrier for northbound traffic from the Thruway (I-87) seeking to access Woodbury Common and NY Route 17 exit to cashless tolling. Southbound traffic from the Thruway's ticketed portion of the system will continue to access a modified two lane toll plaza until the entire Thruway system is converted to cashless tolling by the end of 2020.
The existing Harriman Toll Barrier will be removed in several phases once the new tolling system is fully operational, which will result in altered traffic patterns. For a short period of time, drivers will continue to travel through existing toll lanes at reduced speeds without stopping until the booths are removed and the road reconfiguration is completed. Drivers are strongly urged to use caution around the toll plaza during this time as it is an active construction zone. The posted speed limit when traveling through the toll lanes will be 20 MPH.
Approximately 21.7 million motorists travel through the Harriman interchange each year, accounting for more than eight percent of the Thruway's overall traffic volume.
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "As one of the most traveled interchanges along the 570-mile New York State Thruway system, travelers using the Harriman Toll Barrier will greatly benefit from the implementation of cashless tolling almost immediately. With more than 21 million vehicles each year, the vast majority of motorists will no longer have to slow down to pay a toll when this project is fully completed. As we continue to implement cashless tolling system-wide by the end of 2020, I encourage all customers to take advantage of E-ZPass and its many benefits which include saving money."
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "We congratulate the Thruway Authority on meeting this important milestone, which will further enhance traffic flow at this critical location for tourists and local commuters. In addition, the $150 million Woodbury Transit and Economic Hub project is making significant progress. Coordination with parties involved has been going smoothly, and we are working very hard to bring this transformative project, which will also enhance safety at this location, to fruition next year."
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said, "It's great to see progress related to the construction of the Harriman Interchange. Traffic congestion has long been a problem and the automation of tolls will help congestion in that vicinity. This important project allows us to continue to market this economically vital corridor for growth and sustainable development."
In addition to cashless tolling, construction work on the $150 million design-build project at the Woodbury Road, Transit and Economic Development Hub continues to move forward. The project, which will be completed next fall, will help ease congestion around the Woodbury Premium Outlets area while expanding opportunities for economic growth in the Hudson Valley region.
The Department of Transportation has already completed work to reconstruct parking lots at Central Valley Elementary School before the school year began. The lots now offer 110 vehicle parking spaces and 15 school bus parking spaces; a total of 131 vehicle parking spaces will be available after a new traffic signal on Route 32 is made operational in November 2018. Structural steel is in place on the Route 32 bridge over Route 17 and steel work is just finishing up on the Route 32 bridge over Nininger Road. Forms are being placed to prepare for rebar installation and concrete work to build the bridge decks. Reconstruction and drainage installation is underway on Route 17 eastbound and Route 32 southbound, and a retaining wall is currently being built along Route 17 eastbound.
After cashless tolling goes live at the Harriman Toll Barrier, it will become the Thruway's fourth cashless tolling location, in addition to the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and Grand Island Bridges. As Governor Cuomo announced in June 2018, all remaining fixed toll barriers in the lower Hudson Valley will be converted to cashless tolling by the end of 2018. The remaining barriers include Yonkers (I-87), New Rochelle (I-95), and Spring Valley (commercial traffic only).
As part of the Thruway's transition to cashless tolling by the end of 2020, the Thruway Authority is encouraging all motorists to sign up for E-ZPass NY and save on tolls across the state, including a five percent discount along the entire 570-mile New York State Thruway. E-ZPass offers a variety of discount plans and payment options to fit the needs of every motorist, including Pay Per Trip, which is linked to a bank account, not a credit card, and pays tolls incurred once per day and a prepaid E-ZPass account balance is not required.
E-ZPass On-the-Go tags can be purchased at 26 Thruway Service Areas system-wide, nearly 840 locations across the state including select grocery and convenience stores, and government offices, and select cash toll lanes across the Thruway's 570-mile system.