Saying goodbye to toll booths creates more efficient and safer travel
In 2016, the New York State Thruway Authority’s (NYSTA) started the implementation of cashless (electronic) tolling at the Mario M. Cuomo bridge and other toll barriers across the state. In the 2018 State of the State address, it was announced that cashless tolling would be implemented on the rest of the Thruway system by the end of 2020.
As lead designer of NYSTA’s design-build implementation of cashless tolling, we overcame several challenges. As COVID-19 restrictions all but eliminated the traditional design-build in person oversight, optimizing our approach was essential. We used real-time cloud-based quality assurance, quality control, and constructability reviews of design packages and video meetings to include more participants and streamline the effort. Since traffic needed to remain undisturbed during construction, efficiencies to maintain the aggressive schedule included consolidating gantry design to just five types, minimizing manufacturers’ set-up time, and seven separate design teams working simultaneously.
Now complete, enhanced safety and environmental benefits were realized through the implementation of cashless tolling. The gantries’ smaller footprint than the toll booths allowed the return of 37 acres of paved surfaces to their former pervious condition, reducing stormwater runoff, and eliminating traffic idling at the toll booths reduced fuel consumption and air pollution.
At a Glance
- New York State Thruway Authority’s $355 Million cashless tolling project now operational
- 2022 ACEC of New York Engineering Excellence Awards, Diamond Award, Category H: Transportation
- 2022 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards, National Recognition Award
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