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Page 6: Toll Issues from the State of New York
copyright © 2020 ~ Philip M. Goldstein ~ www.nyctollscrip.info

Toll Scrip, Tokens and Ephemera of the States of New York and New Jersey


by Philip M. Goldstein

Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5You are on Page 6Page 7
Introduction &
Conclusion

Page Index
Private and
Early City of New York
Toll Bridges, Plank Roads
& Turnpikes
Pre-TBTA AgenciesTriborough Bridge &
Tunnel Authority

MTA Bridges & Tunnels
Port of New York Authority

Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey
State of New Jersey
updated: 10/26/2020


State of New York
.

Long Island State Parkway Commission /
Jones Beach State Parkway Authority

Southern State Parkway, Jones Beach Parkway,
Wantagh Parkway, Loop Parkway


Nassau County Bridge Authority
Atlantic Beach Bridge

Long Island Motor Parkway
East Hudson Parkway Authority /
New York State Department of Transportation

Saw Mill River Parkway
Hutchinson River Parkway
New York State Thruway
Tappan Zee Bridge
Grand Island Bridges
New York State Bridge Authority
Rip Van Winkle Bridge
Kingston - Rhinecliff Bridge
Mid Hudson Bridge
Newburgh - Beacon Bridge
Bear Mountain Bridge
Lake Champlain Bridge Authority
Lake Champlain Bridge
Rouses Point Bridge



    The International Crossings:      
Seaway International Bridge Corp.
Massena - Cornwall International Bridge
Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority
Ogdensburg - Prescott International Bridge
Thousand Islands Bridge Authority
Thousand Islands Bridge
Niagara Falls Bridge Authority
Lewiston - Queenston Bridge
Rainbow Bridge
Whirlpool Rapids

Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
Peace Bridge

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East Hudson Parkway Authority

New York State Department of Transportation - Parkways

   

   As with Long Island, a network of parkways were constructed throughout Westchester County. These parkways comprised of the Sprain Brook, Bronx River, Saw Mill River & Hutchinson River Parkways, and the Cross Cross County Parkway and the Cross Westchester Expressway. 

   As far as is known, only the Saw Mill River Parkway and Hutchinson River Parkway implemented toll collection and it is these two parkway that will be addressed here.

Hutchinson River Parkway Toll Booths
Westchester County Parks Commission
Lantern Slide Collection of the Parks Commission

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The Saw Mill River Parkway

   First proposed in 1924 by the Westchester County Parks Commission, the Saw Mill River Parkway was to have aesthetic design features similar to that of the nearby Bronx River Parkway. The first segment of the parkway, a bypass in Yonkers was opened to traffic in 1926. The next section of Saw Mill River Parkway that was to open, was from from Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers to Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry, and was completed in September 1929, with a further four mile segment between Dobbs Ferry and Tarrytown Road opening in 1930.

   There is conflicting information as to when the toll booths were erected and toll collection implemented on the Saw Mill River Parkway. The New York Times article below states 1947, but the NYC Road website (www.nycroads.com) states 1936. But it is known the toll booths were located between Exits 3 (McLean Avenue) and Exit 4 (Cross County Parkway).

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The Hutchinson River Parkway - "The Hutch"

   Construction of the Hutchinson River Parkway begin in 1924 with the first portion opening to traffic being a two mile segment completed in 1927. By October 1928, eleven more miles were completed, from Boston Post Road in Pelham Manor to Westchester Avenue in White Plains.  

   The original rustic design of the parkway began to change when in 1936 when Robert Moses decided to build additional parkways in the region, with a northward extension of the Hutchinson River Parkway from White Plains to King Street in Rye Brook (on the Connecticut state line) was completed in 1937 and a southward extension from Pelham Manor to Pelham Bay Park opened in December 1937.   

   In 1941, another extension connecting the southern end of the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Whitestone Bridge was opened to traffic. It is here that toll booths were placed across all lanes between Exits 7 (Boston Post Road / US Route 1) and Exit 8 (Sandford Boulevard / Colonial Avenue) in Pelham Manor.


   Initially, the toll collected at the Pelham Manor Toll Booths was 10 cents (as was the Saw Mill River Parkways toll), but drivers learned they could circumvent the toll on the Hutch by driving through the Town of Pelham. At first, this was not an immediate issue;, but in 1958 the toll was raised to 25 cents.

   Now with ever increasing amounts of privately owned automobiles and those automobiles being used for commuting, the traffic circumventing the tolls had become a serious enough issue to be addressed by the town of Pelham Manor.

   Following the toll increase, more cars than ever began leaving the Parkway before reaching the tolls and made their way onto the streets of the town of Pelham Manor to avoid paying the toll. This problem was especially severe during rush hour periods.

   With increasing amounts of parkway vehicles now clogging the town streets and thereby increasing the hazard to pedestrians and school children, not to mention the increased wear and tear of the road surface; the town changed its traffic patterns by making one way streets and prohibiting turns at key intersections to discourage parkway traffic from using town streets. Naturally, local residents and businesses did not like having their routines altered and this was not very popular solution. But this is the way it stayed and traffic for the most part migrated back to the parkway.

   In 1979, an agreement was reached to transfer operational and maintenance jurisdiction of the Saw Mill River and Hutchinson Parkways (as well as the other non-tolled parkways in Westchester County) from the East Hudson Parkway Authority to the New York State Transportation Authority beginning on November 1. Following this date, the East Hudson Parkway Authority was disbanded. Also as part of this agreement, the toll booths were slated for removal. But not so fast!

   The State had become addicted to the revenue generated by the toll booths, as they had with so many other roads. Toll collection when implemented for these roads, was only supposed to last as long as necessary to pay off the investment bonds issued to finance the parkways' initial construction, but tolls were a cash cow.

   According to a New York Times article, these two toll plazas on the Hutchinson and Saw Mill River Parkways generated $11 million annually. This money was used for road maintenance, the salaries for those administration officials and toll collectors, as well as a special detachment of law enforcement who patrolled the Parkways. New York State officials objected at the cost of paying for maintenance and police without the revenue stream from the tolls. The battle over whether to close the toll booths waged for decades, and the motorists kept paying.  

   Finally, on June 8, 1994, the New York State Legislature reached an agreement to end the tolls on both the Hutchinson River and Saw Mill River Parkways. By this time, they were the last remaining state roads outside the New York State Thruway that were not free to motorists. 


New York Times digital archives

   

   The last toll to be collected on the Hutchinson River Parkway was received just before midnight on October 31, 1994. The toll booths were removed a month later.

   The Hutchinson River Parkway receipt seen below is dated July 22, 1974 is printed on slips of plain white paper measuring 2 13/16" x 4 7/8". These carry the very faded insignia of a government agency at top, but I can only discern "AUTH." and the year 1960. This is the year the East Hudson Parkway Authority was organized, so it believed that is their insignia.

EHPA - Hutchinson River Parkway toll receipt - July 22, 1974
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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EHPA - toll receipt - June 21, 1979
collection of Philip M. Goldstein

   

   As stated above, on November 1, 1979, the East Hudson Parkway Authority was dissolved after the New York State Department of Transportation took jurisdiction of the Parkway's.

   Following are several of the NYSDOT-Parkways era (1979-1994) receipts for the Hutchinson Parkway. One of the unique things about these Pelham Parkway receipts is the fact that some of the issues I have were printed on cut up scraps of continuous feed dot matrix printer paper. Without a doubt, it is definitely a useful and commendable form of up-cycling!


receipt - Pelham Toll Plaza
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
receipt - Pelham Toll Plaza
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
receipt - Pelham Toll Plaza
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
receipt - Pelham Toll Plaza
"Buckle Up" safety slogan added

collection of Philip M. Goldstein




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Nassau County Bridge Authority - Atlantic Beach Bridge

   
   


   The Atlantic Beach Bridge is a bascule drawbridge and approaches, carrying NY Route 878 and connects the Town of Lawrence and Atlantic Beach (both Nassau County), New York. The span passes over the west end of Reynolds Channel. This bridge also provides access to the Rockaway Peninsula via Seagirt Boulevard. 

   The original span opened to traffic on June 29, 1927, and only had a vertical clearance of only 13 feet. The Atlantic Beach Bridge reduced travel time to Atlantic Beach by 30 minutes. On October 14, 1950, Governor Thomas E. Dewey drove the first pile for the new Atlantic Beach Bridge. To accommodate the new six-lane span, Nassau County and New York City spent $2,500,000 dollars to purchase the property for the rights of way for the approach roads. 

   The new Atlantic Beach Bridge was designed by Hardesty & Hanover and opened to traffic on May 10, 1952, at a cost of $9,500,000 dollars. Soon after the new span opened, the old bridge was razed. The new span is 1,173 feet long with a 33 foot vertical clearance for marine traffic.

   Typically, the toll is $2.00 for vehicles under 5 tons and collected in each direction as of January 1, 2007. Vehicles over 5 tons are $2.00 per axle. The Atlantic Beach Bridge is one of the few crossings in the state of New York that does not accept E-ZPass. For commutation rates for Nassau County residents is $130.00 and a decal is affixed to the vehicle.

  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic spread in New York State, toll collection was temporarily suspended in mid-March 2020. Toll collection was reinstated at the beginning of June 2020.

Nassau County Bridge Authority - Current Toll Schedule
in effect as of January 1, 2007
vehicle descriptionaxlestoll
Passenger Car or Motorcycles2$2.00
with 1 or 2 axle trailer1 or 2$4.00
each additional axle $2.00
20 Trip Pass Card (NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY) $15.00
Resident Decals (VEHICLES REGISTERED IN NASSAU COUNTY) 130.00
Resident Decals (VEHICLES REGISTERED OUTSIDE NASSAU COUNTY) 175.00
Commercial Vehicles - Under 10,000 lbs$2.00
with 1 or 2 axle trailer1 or 2$4.00
each additional axle $2.00
Commercial Vehicles over 10,000 lbs $4.00
$6.00
4$8.00
5$10.00
$12.00
.

.


   The following issues and receipt are from the Atlantic Beach Bridge.



Atlantic Beach Bridge yearly prepaid scrip
Passenger Car, Taxi or Motorcycle
December 1952

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Atlantic Beach Bridge - monthly prepaid scrip
(under 5 tons)
April 1966
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Atlantic Beach Bridge - monthly prepaid scrip
(under 5 tons)
May 1966

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Atlantic Beach Bridge toll receipt
May 13, 1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein


   The use of this next issue is somewhat unclear. Not in who issued it, but where it was used. To the best of my research, there is only one bus route in Nassau County that went over a toll bridge: The present "N33" route over the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

   The Atwood Coffee catalog attributes the issue to Hewlett, NY (in Long Island) and research shows this was the location of the corporate office of Nassau Bus Company, Inc.  


   Nassau Bus Lines was a private surface transit (bus) company that operated in Nassau County, Long Island. Unlike New York City which has consolidated all of the separate transit operators: subway / elevated routes (rapid transit) streetcar and bus (surface transit) under one operating entity in 1940; transit providers operating in Nassau and Suffolk County, operated under their individual corporate identities right up until 1980's with some into the 2000's.

   Information from "BusTalk" (an online forum for transit aficionados
); Nassau Bus Lines Inc., was a small operator based in Hewlett, Long Island. This company had the little known distinction of being one of the first motorized passenger carriers in the New York Metropolitan area.

   Their buses plied Nassau County's first bus routes on the south shore, and were the only two routes the company ever had. Service began in 1912 with service between Lynbrook and Far Rockaway via the 'Five Towns' and; upon the opening of the first Atlantic Beach Bridge in 1927, the company obtained permits to operate a bus line between Long Beach and Far Rockaway via Atlantic Beach.

   There were several attempts
by competitor bus lines that were looking to expand throughout the following decades by acquiring the two franchises of Nassau Bus; but they remained in operation until Schenck Transportation "made them an offer they couldn't refuse" in the early sixties.

   Eventually, most if not all of the private bus companies operating in Nassau County eventually became part of the quasi-governmental transit agency Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority (which was an operating division owned by the parent organization Metropolitan Transportation Authority; of which operates the subway & bus lines of New York City as well as Long island Railroads and Metro-North Commuter Railway).

   The MTA ceased using the MSBA name in 1995 and at that time took the name "
Nassau Inter-County Express". While it remains operating under this name, operations were contracted to private operators beginning December 2011 and the current operator is Transdev - a multi-national transit operating company.

   Returning to the token issue, it is my belief this token was used by buses of the Nassau Bus Company to cross the Atlantic Beach Bridge. The question remains as to why the Nassau County Bridge Authority did not commission or issue the tokens. Until further information is located disproving my postulation, the issue will remain in this chapter.


Nassau Bus Lines Inc. - Bridge Toll - 1940
NY365A -
23mm - bronze
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein




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Long Island Motor Parkway
a/k/a Vanderbilt Parkway



   The Long Island Motor Parkway, also known as the Vanderbilt Parkway, Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, or Motor Parkway, was a roadway on Long Island, NY. It was the first roadway designed for automobile use only. This parkway was privately built by William Kissam Vanderbilt II (grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt - of steamboat & New York Central Railroad fame) with grade separated overpasses and bridges to remove most intersections.

   Construction began in June 1908. With its banked turns, guard rails, reinforced concrete roadbed, and controlled access, was the first limited-access roadway in the world, much less the United States. By October 10, 1908; the first portion, 10 miles long; had opened as far as modern Bethpage.

   The road was originally planned to stretch for 70 miles in and out of New York City to as far as Riverhead, in Suffolk County. Only 45 miles of highway: from Queens in New York City to Lake Ronkonkoma, were actually constructed however, and at a cost of $6 million.  

   The roads intent was twofold: everyday auto traffic but to also host auto racing (William Vanderbilt was an avid motor racing enthusiast). Races were held in 1908 and on the full road in 1909 and 1910. Unfortunately however, an accident during the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup, which killed two riding mechanics with additional injured persons. This caused the New York Legislature to ban auto racing except on race tracks, ending the Motor Highway's career as a racing road.

   By 1911, the road had been extended as far east to Lake Ronkonkoma. Its western stretch was also extended from Great Neck to what is now Fresh Meadows. Despite it's wealthy backing by a Vanderbilt, the Long Island Motor Parkway faced closure due to unpaid back taxes.

   William Vanderbilt appealed to Robert Moses to incorporate the Long Island Motor Parkway into Moses' new parkway system being built on Long Island. Moses rejected the request. The Long Island Motor Parkway could not compete with the public roads, even after the toll was reduced to 40 cents, just before it closed. Ironically, Moses gained control of Vanderbilt’s pioneering road for the sum of back taxes of about $80,000 which the State of New York paid, so in short Moses could build his system. 

   Parts of the parkway survive today, used as sections of other roadways, a utility line corridor or as a bicycle trail. But for the most part it has been obliterated by development.

Tolls

   When the Long Island Motor Parkway first opened in 1908, the toll was set at $2. In 1912, it was reduced to $1.50. The toll was further reduced to $1 in 1917, and in 1937 lowered to .50 cents and finally to .40 cents in 1938 Just before closure.

   While I do not own the following pieces, I felt them interesting and pertinent enough to include here. There appear to be two types: a one way / roundtrip ticket or a day license, which included the privilege to exit and re-enter. The right edge appears to have perforated, so either a stub was attached or these licenses were printed in book form and detached when sold. It was seen for sale on eBay in September 2020.


One Way or Round Trip Pass
Good for one trip (one way) from Wheatley Hills Golf Club to Rocky Hill Road - 50 cents
Issued by Wheatly Hills Golf Club

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website
Good for round trip between Brentwood Lodge (Commack Road)
and Ronkonkoma. Not good west of Commack Road - 50 cents
Issued by Brentwood Lodge

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website


Good for one way trip to New York or
on round trip Ronkonkoma to Huntington
July 4, 1929
Issued by Ronkonkoma Lodge

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website
Good for one way trip to Ronkonkoma or
one round trip New York to Huntington
June 14, 1930
Issued by Nassau Boulevard Lodge
image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website

Day Pass
July 4, 1929
Good for the day, with privilege to leave & return - $1.00
Issued by Hillside Avenue Lodge

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website
August 21, 1924
Good for the day, with privilege to leave & return - $1.00
Issued by Hillside Avenue Lodge

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website


April 28, 1922
Good for the day, with privilege to leave & return - $1.00
Issued by Huntington Lodge

image courtesy of eBay auctions


June 8, 1924
Good for the day, with privilege to leave & return - $1.00
Issued by Ronkonkoma Lodge

image courtesy of Howard Kroplick / Vanderbilt Cup Races website




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Jones Beach State Parkway Authority 
Long Island State Parkway Commission
  • Southern State Parkway
  • Meadowbrook Parkway
  • Wantagh State Parkway
  • Lido Beach Loop Causeway "Loop Parkway"

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   The Long Island State Parkway network began in 1927 with the construction of the Southern State and Wantagh Parkways. Not all of Long Island's parkways had tolls, and in keeping with the topic of this website, I will only address those parkways that tolls were collected upon.

   And frankly, the tolls to access Jones Beach could in fact be considered a park / beach access fee as opposed to a conventional road toll.

   As described in the Patterson v. Carey decision of the Court of Appeals 41 N.Y.2d 714 (1977):

"The Jones Beach State Parkway Authority was created in 1933 for the purpose of financing and constructing the Jones Beach State Parkway and other approaches to Jones Beach State Park. The necessary capital was obtained by the authority through the sale of revenue bonds to the Federal Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The authority is a public benefit corporation (see General Construction Law, § 66, subd 4) with a membership identical to that of the Long Island State Park Commission."

   In March 1933, the Jones Beach State Parkway Authority was issued a $5,050,000 loan by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. A toll was planned for both the Meadowbrook Causeway and the Lido Beach Loop Causeway to assist in repaying this loan. 

   Tollbooths were constructed, and a 25 cent toll was instituted on both highways on January 2, 1935. It is reported that 300 people used these highways on this day. A 50 cent parking fee on Jones Beach was reduced to 25 cents in order to keep the total charged to motorists at 50 cents. It was anticipated that the loan would be repaid in 25 years.   

  As we all know, Robert Moses' plan for Long Island was to build an interconnecting network of parkways to access both north and south shores, and allow city residents to access various parks and the beaches along the south shore. Year after year, from 1927 through the 1960's, another parkway was built or extended.

   All of the parkways built under the Moses Plan were limited access, and intentionally designed for passenger automobiles only; with grades, curves and to the point that almost all constructed overpasses was intentionally built with low clearance as to prevent truck traffic from ever using the parkways without major reconstruction. 

   The Southern State Parkway, which runs relatively close to the south shore of Long Island; was at that time of opening in 1927; the main east-west limited access parkway (passenger automobiles only) from the Queens border to West Islip where it becomes the Heckscher State Parkway. Since its first opening, a 10 cent toll was instituted, with the the toll barrier at Valley Stream between Exits 13 and 14

   In 1953, the JBSPA expanded its provenance and undertook reconstruction of the Southern State Parkway. 

   While the Meadowbrook and Wantagh State Parkways led to Jones Beach, you could drive almost the entire stretch from the north shore of Long Island to the south shore without paying a toll, until actually arriving at Jones Beach. To access Jones Beach, south of the toll barriers, you paid a toll. Whether we wish to consider this toll a state park / beach access fee or an actual road toll remains to be hashed out. The Loop Parkway was actually a short connector causeway connecting Long Beach with Jones Beach and history has recorded this was a one lane toll booth to continue to Jones Beach. If you chose to go north on the Meadowlands, it was free..

   But, being that you can drive the remainder of the parkways, without actually visiting the beach is why is they are included here. Only the Southern State Parkway collected a toll to use the parkway, in either direction, and in consideration for the privilege of using said parkway for entering or exiting the New York City borough of Queens with Nassau County.

   Forty years later, the tolls were still in place and on January 1, 1975, and with only two weeks notice; the JBSPA raised the toll on the Southern State Parkway from 10 cents to 25 cents, while the Loop Parkway retained its 25 cent toll. This change faced immediate criticism from the New York State Legislature as well as vociferous protests from residents; and the Democratic members of the Legislature tried to rescind the toll hike.

   Robert Moses still retained a great deal of influence however; as in an agreement he had entered with the State of New York, he ensured that only his authority could choose when to raise and rollback tolls. However, this agreement never prohibited the State of New York from buying out the bonds the JBSPA had issued, and thus the State took over the roads maintained by the Jones Beach Parkway Authority by purchasing those bonds.

   Governor Hugh Carey had yet to craft the $12 billion state budget for 1978, and he proposed a deal to forgo the $24 million debt that the JBSPA had accumulated as well as eliminate the toll on the Loop Parkway and Southern State Parkway by taking over the parkways.

   After the governor and his departments decided that the state could do without the annual $3.8 million dollars that the 25 cent toll would produce, (much as they had with the East Hudson Parkway Authority) a bill permitting the State of New York to take over the Jone Beach State Parkway Authority roads was passed in legislature on March 31, 1978.

   Naturally this ignited a back and forth of legal filings and appearance before the court. But in the end, the State of New York prevailed and s
o; with the goal for the abolishment of the tolls, purchased the Jones Beach State Parkway Authority, and operation of the parkways was assigned to the New York State Department of Transportation.

   Finally, on July 1, 1978 and just one year after the NYSDOT took over, the tollbooths were removed and the abolition of tolls collected on the Southern State Parkway came after a twenty year battle by locals for their removal.

   The toll barrier stood for only a little while in Valley Stream before it was razed. A New York State Police barracks as a rest area were built to the sides of the parkway.

   Ironically, the ticket booths on the Meadowbrook and Wantagh State Parkways for Jones Beach remained unused, but were not razed until April 2019.

JBSPA toll receipt - $1.00 - not dated - ca. 1972
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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JBSPA - Southern State Parkway toll receipt - .25 - 2/16/1975
horizontal
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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JBSPA - Southern State Parkway toll receipt - .25 - 3/28/1976
vertical
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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NYSDOT - Southern State Parkway toll receipt - .25 - 6/20/1977
(note Jones Beach State Parkway Authority title removed)
horizontal
collection of Philip M. Goldstein




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New York State Thruway

   The "main drag" of New York State is undoubtedly the New York State Thruway, also known as Interstate 87 from Yonkers to Albany and Interstate 90 from Albany to Buffalo. This well maintained thoroughfare connects most of New York's major cities: New York City, Newburgh, Kingston, Albany, Schenectady, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. This section is known as the "Main Line".

   The first section of the Thruway to open to traffic was a 115 mile segment from Lowell (a little south of Rome and west of Utica) to Rochester which opened on June 24, 1954. By December 23, 1960, all 559 miles of the original Thruway system were open.

   Spurs also connect the Thruway to
  • the "Berkshire Section" / I-90 from Albany to the Massachusetts state line;
  • the "New England Section" / I-95 from New York City to the Connecticut state line;
  • the "Niagara Section" / I-190 from Buffalo to Niagara Falls; 
  • the "Erie Section" / I-90 Buffalo to the Pennsylvania state line at Ripley, NY; 
  • a connection to New Jersey's Garden State Parkway at Spring Valley, and 
  • the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) which connects Tarrytown and the Tappan Zee Bridge to Connecticut state line and I-95 at Port Chester.

  
The Cross Westchester Expressway and a portion of Interstate 84 were added to the Thruway system in 1991. All told, the New York State Thruway now encompasses 570 miles. It also carries the name Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway; after the renowned prosecutor, Manhattan District Attorney, and Forty-seventh Governor of New York State.
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Open and Closed Tolling Structure

   A unique facet of th New York State Thruway, is that is utilized both open and closed tolling methods:
.

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Open Tolling Portion

   The southern portion of the Thruway which begins / ends at the county line separating the Bronx (City of New York) / and Yonkers (Westchester County) and Woodbury - Harriman Toll Barrier (Orange County) is limited access, but this section is "open tolling" with fixed rate toll barriers at Yonkers and Spring Valley on the "main line", and New Rochelle on the New England Section, therefore it is possible to use portions of the Thruway without paying any tolls on this segment and in an freeway fashion.

   Continuing north after the Yonkers toll, you encounter the Tappan Zee Bridge crossing over the Hudson River. While originally there was a toll for northbound / westbound traffic, this was abolished in 1970 and the toll doubled for southbound / eastbound traffic.

   After crossing the Hudson River, the next toll barrier encountered was Spring Valley, at around Exit 14.
In 1974, exact change lanes for passenger cars only were added to the barrier at Spring Valley to speed up toll payment process. In 1997, passenger cars were no longer require to pay the toll at the Spring Valley Barrier, however all other vehicle classes still have to pay their respective tolls.
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Closed Tolling Portion

  Continuing north to Harriman, you encounter the Woodbury - Harriman Toll Barrier. It is here you enter the "closed" ticketed portion of the Thruway. No toll is collected northbound at this point, but a toll collector issued you an entry ticket based on your vehicle class. Later, passenger cars could use "car only - no trailer" lanes and a machine spat out your ticket. However, all commercial vehicles regardless of axle or height needed to stop at one of several manned lanes and receive an entry ticket based on their vehicle class

   From this point at Woodbury - Harriman / Exit 16, (or traveling east from Ripley, NY) your toll is calculated for the type of vehicle you were driving and the exit in which you left the Thruway at. To this day, long after I have moved out of New York State and long after the tolls have been raised; I remember the toll amount from Woodbury to Kingston - Exit 19: $1.90. Two singles to the collectors at Kingston and a dime change returned to me. That was until I enrolled in E-ZPass!

   As announced on April 17, 1954; the toll schedule adopted for use on the closed tolling (entry ticket) portion of the Thruway (Woodbury / Harriman, NY to Ripley, NY - PA border) was as follows. Subsequent raises in the toll schedule as mentioned in New York Times digital archives follow.

New York State Thruway Authority - Historical Toll Schedule
April 17, 1954
Passenger Cars, Taxis, Ambulances or Hearse.0125 cents per mile
Buses, 2 or 3 axle.0350 cents per mile
Passenger Car with Trailer; Light Truck with Trailer; 3 Axle Truck,.0175
Light Trucks; Two Axle Tractors without Trailer .0125 cents per mile
Single Unit Trucks - 2 axles, 6 tires.02 cents per mile
Single Unit Trucks - 3 axles.035 cents per miles
2 axle Trucks with 1 axle Trailer.045 cents per mile
Tractor Trailer, 4 or more axles.05 cents per miles
.
January 1, 1959
25% increase in passenger cars toll,
Yonkers Section rose .10 cents to .25 cents for passenger cars.
Spring Valley toll from .30 cents to .50 cents, commercial vehicles: from .20 & .40 cents rose to .30 & .60 cents.
per mile for passenger car rose from .0125 to .0156 cents per mile.
Tappan Zee Bridge to Albany $1.50 to $1.95.
Tappan Zee Bridge to Buffalo $5.00 to $6.40.
Tappan Zee Bridge to Ripley rose $1.60 from $5.85 to $$7.45.
Annual Permit rose from $20 to $40.
.
June 27, 1959
Empty truck cut rate was abolished. This was a discounted .035 toll per mile as opposed to
.045 and .05 cent charged for loaded trucks.
.
January 1, 1970
18.5% increase for commercial vehicles, which had not changed since 1954 inception.
.035 cents per mile to .10 cents per mile
Annual permit remains at $40.
.
March 22, 1980
Passenger tolls raised 25% - per mile rose .019 to .024 cents per mile
Bus tolls raised 15%
Commercial tolls raised 30%
Albany to Buffalo was $5.30, now $6.55
Albany to Suffern was $2.30, now $2.85
.
April 17, 1988
Passenger Car tolls raised 30%, passenger cars from .024 to .031 per mile
Buffalo to NYC now $10.05 to 12.55
Commercial Vehicle tolls raised 40%
May 16, 2005
Passenger Cars raised 25%
Commercial Vehicles raised 35% 



   Entry tickets are stamped for entry, lane, time and date, number of axles or vehicle class, the collector number / i.d. and an individual card number. Normally, when you arrived at your destination exit, you must turn in your entry card and the appropriate toll amount. If you actually lost the ticket (by it blowing out the window or falling down into the the scuzzy worm hole under everyones seat to magically reappear years later) or whether you actually kept the ticket as a momento and claiming you "lost it", the motorist is charged the highest toll shown, which can amount to hefty price nowadays. As such, the entry cards are more difficult to acquire and collect.

   Another variety of ticket is the breakdown ticket which is actually more of an exit ticket. As the entry tickets are stamped with the time you entered the Thruway; you were alloted so much time to exit. If your vehicle broke down while on the Thruway, your entry card time "expired". Research reveals the Thruway had a regulation which established a maximum time frame that a person could be within the Thruway System upon receiving a toll ticket. If you exceeded that time, you were then assessed an additional fee or fine. The 'breakdown ticket' was used to waive this additional fee or fine in situations where, due to mechanical problems, you ended up exceeding that time limit. But you still had to turn in your entry ticket. I received mine upon request from a friendly toll collector.

   In my collection, I have the following booklet: New York State Thruway - Toll Schedules and Traffic Rules and Regulations. While undated, it is believed to be circa 1954. In it, we learn that commutation tickets were indeed issued for the "Hudson River Bridge" which we came to call the Tappan Zee Bridge; as well as the Grand Island Bridges.





collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.

.

   The New York State Thruway changed their method of toll structure in 2009 (?) from a basic vehicle class structure to a structure that further defined low (under 7' 6") or high (over 7' 6") vehicles. Meaning, a passenger car of 2 axles (2L) pays a lower rate than say an extended height delivery van of two axles (2H). A passenger car towing a low open trailer (Class 4L) while a 2 axle box truck towing a box trailer (Class 4H). Compounded with the height classification is the number of axles.

   This new toll schedule also incorporated Peak and Off Peak tolls, of which the Off Peak tolls were significantly discounted. This was to encourage travel during off peak times.

   As a result of the Coronavirus (SARS-CoVid 19) epidemic of 2020, toll
collection ceased beginning March 22 until June 3 to create appropriate social distancing for cash collection. While cash transactions were suspended, collectors were on duty at some locations to record license plate numbers for billing purposes. Cash toll collection resumed at 11:59pm on June 3.


   The current (as of 10/19/2020) toll structure is as follows:



.

.
 Currently, proposals are under review for toll increases for the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo - Tappan Zee Bridge as well at the reminder of the Thruway; of which they may be reviewed here:

New York State Thruway Proposed Toll Increases 2021-2022

.

.


New York State Thruway Authority Entry Tickets
Entry Ticket - circa 1953 
Exit 50  Buffalo NY
- Class 1 (passenger car)
Remington Rand - P22468 - 1?
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Entry Ticket - introduced 1993, circa 1998 -
Exit 20 - Saugerties, NY
- Class 4
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

.
Breakdown Ticket  - 2008?
Exit 19 Kingston - Class 1 (passenger car - abolished, now class 2L)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Breakdown Ticket - 2018
Exit 19 Kingston - Class 2L (2 axle - low height [car or passenger pickup, van])

collection of Philip M. Goldstein


   Through this booklet above as well as continued research, we also know the Thruway offered an annual permit for unlimited use. These permits were in the form of embossed tin plates that were affixed below the regular state issued license plate. The purchase of this plate shown below, cost $20 in 1958; and allowed passenger cars, suburbans and motorcycles unlimited use of the Thruway for one year.

   In 1959, the cost of the annual pass was raised to $40. As the years marched on, and with each subsequent toll hike, this unlimited rate increased. The last year of this unlimited permit is understood to have been issued in 1988.

.

.
Tolls By Mail

   A further advance in toll collection began with the institution of Tolls By Mail. This system, which uses pairs of high speed digital cameras mounted on a pair of overhead gantries. Your vehicle, which trips a sensor, activates the cameras (one frontwards facing for the back license plate and one rearward facing for the front license plate); which takes an image of the license plates of the vehicle going though the barrier at highway speed. As some states only require a rear plate to be affixed to a vehicle, the rearward facing camera is deemed necessary to ensure fairness for all highway users and to prohibit toll evaders.

   The license plate is then cross referenced with Department of Motor Vehicles records and a bill generated and mailed to the vehicles' registration address. After the system was developed and bugs worked out, it is obvious that the cost of a stamp is significantly lower than the annual salary, cost of medical benefits and retirement plan of the toll collectors.

   
   No toll booths, no reduced speed, no congestion and no fumbling for change.


.

Two Toll Bridges

   In addition to the tolling system, the New York Thruway operates two bridges with tolls collected to pass over them, over and above those tolls collected of the closed tolling system. Meaning, there is an additional toll to be paid for crossing these two spans, while all other bridges within the New York State Thruway system are included in the rate between entry and exit of the Thruway.
.

.

The first Tappan Zee Bridge

   The first and the possibly most recognizable bridge on the New York State Thruway was/is the Tappan Zee Bridge.

   The bridge with its approaches, is the longest bridge in New York State. The total length of the bridge approached 16,013 feet or 3.0328 miles. The main span was a steel cantilever truss with truss support towers. The cantilever span was 1,212 feet in length, and provided a maximum clearance of 138 feet over the water. To each side of the main span was the approach ramps which were deck truss bridges. The causeway leading up to the bridge was concrete & steel.

   Construction of the original Tappan Zee Bridge, commenced in 1952 and ran through 1955, and opened to traffic December 14, 1955. Design and construction was started during the Korean Conflict, and several engineering reports stated that the span was built to the bare minimum with little to no safety redundancies and with the original span having a 50 year service life.
Also as a result of the war, construction incurred some delays due to material shortages. Adding to this, was the increasing weight of commercial vehicles over the decades the bridge was in service.

   From 1955 through August 11, 1970, tolls were collected from both directions to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge, with the toll barrier on the Tarrytown side. The northbound / westbound toll was eliminated on August 12, 1970, on the same date all the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey crossings eliminated their westbound tolls as well. As result, the toll was doubled from .50 cents to $1.00 for the southbound / eastbound traffic across the Tappan Zee Bridge.

   
As constructed it had 3 lanes northbound and 3 lanes southbound with a center island and steel grating. This island was removed in 1986 and a seventh "middle" lane was built and opened in July 1987. In 1993, a vehicle called a Barrier Transfer Machine was purchased, which moves a segmented concrete barrier from one side of the lane to the other. Garages were constructed in the median on either side of the bridge to house the BTM during non-use.

   This movable divider, also called a "zipper"; allowed the middle lane to be opened depending on the rush hour traffic direction. For the Tappan Zee Bridge this means in the morning: four lanes southbound, and in the afternoon, the barrier was slid to the other side of the lane allowing the evening rush hour to utilize the fourth lane. By the next morning, the barrier would be moved back to the other side of the lane for the morning rush hour and with the process repeating itself for the Monday - Friday commute.

   A very interesting article with a video of this machine in operation can be read here: Tappan Zee Bridge Barrier Machine - LoHud / USA Today

   In 1994, the Tappan Zee Bridge was accorded the honor of being named the "Malcolm Wilson Bridge", to honor the 20th anniversary of his leaving the governor's office in December 1974. In all my years of being a resident until moving out of New York State in 2017, I do not recall this name ever being used either in the news, in literature on the digital thruway signage or even on the CB!
.

.

The second Tappan Zee Bridges

   With the first Tappan Zee Bridge approaching the end of its service life, discussion of the replacement commenced in the late 1990's. No matter how you looked at it, the bridge was way past its service life by 2005. After the typical feasibility studies and cost analyses, community feedback and wrangling; and sticker shock over the cost of construction; a pair of cable stayed concrete & steel spans were designed and approved just to the north of the old span.

   With construction commencing in 2013, and completion 4 years later, the new Tappan Zee Bridges became one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world, having a combined width across both decks of 183 feet. Some components of the bridge were pre-assembled on barges at several work yards along the Hudson River and then floated to the construction location, where they were then hoisted into place. The design and construction methods used are said to allow the bridge to last at least 100 years. The bridge is actually comprised of two spans and two approach causeways: each carrying four lanes and two full width breakdown lanes on each side of the roadway (for a total of six 12 foot wide lanes), and in each direction.

   The first span to open to traffic was the northern span (the present westbound/northbound flow of traffic) and opened on August 26, 2017. This span would be used bi-directionally (four lanes in each direction - no breakdown or shoulder lanes) until the second span was ready for service. This took place on September 11, 2018, and this was designated for eastbound / southbound traffic flow, and is the southerly of the two spans.

   Following the opening of the "new" twin span Tappan Zee Bridge in 2017
, the new bridge(s) were named the "Mario M. Cuomo Bridge", after a former Democratic governor of New York who held office from 1983 through 1994. His son, Andrew Cuomo, followed in his fathers footsteps and of whom is presently the Governor of New York, and has held that office since 2011. During this time that the bridge was constructed, he put forth his fathers name for the bridge. This ignited controversy by both the opposing Republican political members who opposed Mario Cuomo's governorship, as well as traditionalists who wished Malcolm Wilson's name be retained. After much back and forth, in the end a compromise was reached: the bridge would be called the Mario M. Cuomo - Tappan Zee Bridge.

   Also taking place as a result of the new construction, is the relocation of the collection toll point for the bridge. While the toll booths had been located at the east end of the bridge in Tarrytown, the E-ZPass scanners and the "Tolls By Mail" camera gantry have been located at the west end of the bridge in Nyack, and the toll booths razed. Tolls are still collected for southbound / eastbound traffic flow only.

   The following charts show the tolls for the Tappan Zee Bridge from opening to the present, but historical scheduling is still being compiled. Please bear in mind, these tolls for the bridge are in addition to the toll collected for use of the Thruway.
.

Tappan Zee Bridge - Historic Toll Schedules
carscommutation ratelarge trucksclass 8 bus
opening December 14, 1955 to August 11, 1970 .50$10 monthly (.33 cents)$2.00
August 12, 1970
tolls were doubled but now collected southbound only (towards New York City)
$1.00$4.00?
May 5, 1975 $1.5020 trip / $10.00 = .50 per trip$3.30
July 29, 1980
(commutation ticket rates raised only - regular toll remained same)
$1.5020 trip / $15.00 = .75 per trip
unknown date$2.00
date? (11/13/1988,  11/10/1993)$2.50$1.00 per trip$15.00
July 1997$3.00$20.00


MotorcycleClass 2LClass 3LClass 4LClass 2HClass 3HClass 4HClass 5HClass 6HClass 7H
Cash - 1/3/2009 & prior 20094.5010.5012.5013.5018.7522.5029.7537.2544.75
Cash - 1/4/20095.0011.2513.2514.2519.7523.7531.2539.2547.00
.
Tappan Zee - Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge -
Current Toll Schedule
January 3, 2010 - present
MotorcycleClass 2LClass 3LClass 4LClass 2HClass 3HClass 4HClass 5HClass 6HClass 7H
Commuter (E-ZPass)n/a3.00 1n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
Tolls By Mailn/a5.0011.5013.7514.7520.7524.7532.7541.0049.25
E-ZPass - Peak2.504.7511.5013.7514.7520.7524.7532.7541.0049.25
E-ZPass - Off peak 22.504.755.756.887.3810.3812.3816.3820.5024.63
E-ZPass Commuters receive a $2.00 discount per trip ($3.00 versus $5.00 cash rate) on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. A minimum of 20 trips per month is required. If fewer than 20 trips are taken per month, you will be charged $3.00 for each trip not taken. NYSTA E-ZPass Plan Code: (MCC) - Required Prepayment ($60.00)
2 Current tolls for vehicles other that Class 2L passenger automobiles is based on time of day "congestion pricing" a/k/a incentive pricing. By offering a lower toll rate during off peak hours, allows vehicle traffic to be balanced throughout the day - or so as its touted.


   In the above pamphlet, it mentions commutation tickets for the "Hudson River Bridge" (better known as the Tappan Zee Bridge). According to an article in the New Times digital archives, Commutation Ticket Books were only handled by mail after July 1, 1970, but you could drop off an order form with the toll collector.

   With kudos to George Cuhaj, we now know what those later commutation issue looks like, or least one third of it! With the receipt, we know the it was a $20.00 - 20 trip or $1.00 per trip. This should correspond with the $2.00 or 2.50 regular toll, and it was good for 35 days
.


NYSTA Tappan Zee Commutation Tickets
Tappan Zee Bridge Commutation Ticket - 10/11/1993
(partial ticket in booklet, with receipt)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.
Tappan Zee Bridge Commutation Book - 10/11/1993
(booklet front & back cover)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.
(inside front cover)
.
(back of partial script and face of receipt)
.
(back of receipt and inside of back cover)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.

.

Grand Island Bridges

   
   The second of these "extra toll" bridges (actually two pairs of bridges) on the New York State Thruway are the Grand Island Bridges, connecting Tonawanda (north of Buffalo) with Grand Island and with Niagara Falls via I-190.

   Each direction encounters a South Grand Island Bridge and a North Grand Island Bridge.

   The (present) southbound bridge was completed in 1935 and built by the Niagara Frontier Bridge Commission. As originally opened, the bridge was bi-directional carrying carrying one lane in each direction of Route 324, and the original toll was 25 cents for passenger automobiles. The South Grand Island Bridge is a truss through arch, and the North Grand Island Bridge is a deck truss bridge.

   In 1950, the State of New York assumed ownership of this bridge to incorporate the route into the Niagara Thruway / I-190 construction.

   In 1963, a matching pair of twin bridges were erected to the northeast of the original structures. Upon opening of these spans, two lanes of northbound traffic was moved onto the new crossing and the original 1935 span became two lanes of southbound traffic only.

   Despite being constructed almost 30 years apart, the spans are almost identical, save for some very minor differences.


   Tolls are collected in each direction. The southbound toll barrier is located on north shore of Grand Island, and the northbound toll barrier is located in Tonawanda. 




Grand Island Bridge - Historical Toll Schedules
19352003?5/20051/6/2008
automobiles.25.50.751.00
Commutation Tickets:
$2.50 for 30 tickets good for 90 days only
.0833?
Resident Tickets:
$5 for 55 trips
- no expiry
.09.09
automobiles with E-Z Passn/an/a.95
Commuters with E-ZPass and GIC plan.28
.
Grand Island Bridges - Current Toll Schedule
MotorcycleClass 2LClass 3LClass 4LClass 2HClass 3HClass 4HClass 5HClass 6HClass 7H
Commuters with E-ZPass and GIC plan 1n/a.28n/an/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
Tolls By Mailn/a1.001.501.752.002.252.754.254.505.00
E-ZPass.50.951.431.661.902.142.614.044.284.75
- Receive a $0.72 discount per trip ($0.28 versus $1.00 cash rate) on the Grand Island Bridges. Minimum of 20 trips per month is required. If fewer than 20 trips are taken per month, you will be charged $0.28 for each trip not taken. If this plan is selected, the $25 required prepayment in Box B of application is waived.
Plan Code: (GIC) - Required Prepayment ($5.00).



   This bridge, as of March 30, 2018; has implemented cashless tolling. Those drivers without E-ZPass receive a bill by mail via photo identity of their license plate.





New York State Thruway Authority Receipts

Yonkers Toll Station
toll receipt - Class 1 - .25
7/15/1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .30
8/21/1976

collection of Philip M. Goldstein

toll receipt - Class 1 - .40
5/11/1984
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 8 - .95 - 6/23/1984
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..


Spring Valley Toll Station



toll receipt - Class 1 - .25
8/5/1974
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .50
8/21/1976
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .60
 5/30/1980
collection of Philip M. Goldstein

..

.

Tappan Zee Bridge



toll receipt - Class 1 - 1.00
8/5/1974
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 8 - 3.30
8/5/1974
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - 1.50
 6/24/1984
collection of Philip M. Goldstein

..

.

Harriman Toll Station
toll receipt - Class 1 - .30
 7/29/197?
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .35
10/1/1978
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .50
4/7/1984
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .70
5/30/ 1980
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .85
6/1/1980
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

.

New England Toll Station



toll receipt - Class 1 - .25
 7/11/1971
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .30
11/26/1978
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Class 1 - .40 
4/25/1981
collection of Philip M. Goldstein

..


Various Exit Toll Receipts
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 15
class 1 - .55 - 8/5/1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt -  Toll to Exit 15
class 1 - 1.00 - 9/21/1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 15
class 9 - 0.00 - 8/21/1976

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 15
class 1 - 2.30 - 9/21/1979

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 15
class 8 - 3.45 - 6/24/1984

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.



toll receipt - Toll to Exit 17 
class 1 - 1.70 - 8/12/1979

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 19
class 1 - 1.00 - 9/10/1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 37
class 1 - .15 - 10/7/1982

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 39
class 1 - .15 - 10/7/1982

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
toll receipt - Toll to Exit 42
class 1 - .40 - 7/28/1974

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.





toll receipt -  Toll to Exit 50
class 1 - .60 - 7/21/1979

collection of Philip M. Goldstein


preprinted back of toll receipts
(light style)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
preprinted back of toll receipts
(bold style)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein





BACK TO TOP OF PAGE / INDEX








New York State Bridge Authority


   Crossing the Hudson River in conveniently placed locations are various bridges, and usually connecting two cities where ferries once plied their cross river transportation service. These ferries and bridges fall under the scope of the New York State Bridge Authority.

Newburgh - Beacon Ferry - Good For One Passage
estimated dates of usage: 1938-1963

NY615I - bronze - 18mm with 9mm hub, 5mm hole
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein

 

   This State Agency was formed in 1933 when New York 
State finances were in short supply due to the Great Depression, and an originally proposed plan for the state to build the Rip Van Winkle Bridge was vetoed by then Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

   As a possible precursor to the ‘New Deal’, Roosevelt supported the creation of an Authority, separate from state finances, to let bonds for funding construction and repaying debt though the collection of tolls. Hence the creation of the New York State Bridge Authority
.

   It should be noted, the Tappan Zee Bridge (both the older span and present dual spans) are not part of this agency, despite its crossing the Hudson, and that bridge is administered to and is maintained by the Thruway Authority.


   The five bridges now under the auspices of the New York State Bridge Authority and are shown in the map to the right.

crossingspan typedate openedoriginal operating entity
Rip Van Winkle Bridge cantilever trussJuly 2, 1935New York State Bridge Authority
Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge 
George Clinton / Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge (2000)
continuous under-deck trussFebruary 2, 1957
"official" May 11, 1957
New York State Bridge Authority
Mid Hudson Bridge 
Franklin Delano Roosevelt / Mid Hudson Bridge (1994)
suspensionAugust 25, 1930New York State Department of Public Works
Newburgh-Beacon 
Hamilton Fish / Newburgh-Beacon Bridge (1997)
cantilever truss first span: November 2, 1963
second span:
November 1, 1980
(now
eastbound lanes only)
New York State Bridge Authority
Bear Mountain Bridge 
Purple Heart Veterans Memorial Bridge (2018)
suspensionNovember 27, 1924Bear Mountain Hudson River Bridge Co.
acquired by NYSBA in September 26, 1940


   Of particular note is the complicated toll schedule originally implemented on the two crossings that were opened in the 1930's. With utmost appreciation, the New York State Bridge Authority has very thoughtfully put together a partial chronological history of their tolls as well significant dates in bridge toll history. This undoubtedly made my job tremendously easier!

New York State Bridge Authority (and predecessors) - Historic Toll Schedules
.
March 29, 1933   
New York State Bridge Authority takes jurisdiction of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and adopts the toll schedule then in effect under the Department of Public Works.  Thirty-six often complex separate tolls included the following:
.
Toll Rates for Rip Van Winkle and Mid Hudson Bridges - 1930'seach direction
Pedestrians   .10
One-horse wagons (up to 16 feet)   .50
Horses, oxen, cows, yearlings   .20
Saddle horse and rider   .30
Automobile or Motor Bus including driver   .80
each passenger in vehicle    .10
Bicycle or Motorcycle   .20
Motorcycle with side car   .35
passenger car trailer   .35
TRUCKS:
Under 1 ton, rated capacity   $1.00
From 1 and under 2 tons, rated capacity   $1.25
From 2 and under 3 tons, rated capacity   $1.50
From 3 to 5 tons, rated capacity   $1.75
For each ton above 5 tons rated capacity   .50
Two-wheel truck-trailer   $1.00
Vehicles exceeding 20 feet in length, for each additional foot above 20   .10

A SPECIAL PERMIT AND SURVEY IS REQUIRED FOR ANY LOAD EXCEEDING 15 TONS
.
COMMUTATION BOOKS
(For use only by the individual vehicle to which issued)

PASSENGER CARS:
Good for calendar month for which issued
25 Trip Book   $7.50
.62 Trip Book   $12.00
TRUCKS:
50 Trip Books. Good for one year from date of sale.
Rated capacity under 2 tons   $30.00
Rated capacity, 2 and under 3 tons   $40.00
Rated capacity, 3 tons and over   $50.00
.
.
September 15, 1937   
Tolls were reduced overall although 18 separate categories were maintained.
Passengers in vehicles were no longer tolled and livestock was now banned except as cargo in or as motive power for vehicles.
each direction
Pedestrians   .10
Passenger Automobiles   .50
Wagon or Horse and Rider   .20
.
..
July 15, 1945   
With the Second World War nearing its end and the Army replacing commuters as a major source of revenue, vehicle tolls were again reduced and pedestrians finally received a break.
each direction
Pedestrians   .05
Passenger Automobiles   .25
Horse and Wagon   .15
Extra axles on all vehicles   .25
.
..
June 1, 1963    Axle tolls replaced weight related tolls for most trucks resulting in a slight increase for mid-size trucks and a slight toll reduction for most heavy trucks.  Meanwhile, a separate higher toll schedule was enacted for the about to be opened Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. 
Passenger cars and small trucks were required to pay .25¢ more in each direction and larger trucks were charged .50¢ more.
.
.
October 15, 1966    Tolls at all Authority bridges were again made uniform at the following rates:
  each direction
Pedestrians    .05
Passenger Automobiles    .25
.
.
August 12, 1970    
Eastbound tolls were doubled to .50¢ and all westbound toll collections ceased.
..
.
November 2, 1980   
Pedestrian tolls were abandoned.
.
.
July 2, 1989   
Tolls increase to .75¢ round trip for passenger cars. All other vehicles $1.00 per axle for commercial vehicles.
.
.
February 5, 2000   
Tolls increase to $1.00 round trip for passenger cars and $1.50 per axle for commercial vehicles.
.
.
January 30, 2012   
Tolls increase to $1.50 for passenger cars paying cash, $1.25 for passenger cars using E-ZPass.
.
.
May, 1, 2020  Toll increase - see current schedule below.
.
   This current information as well as historical information including tolls, traffic figures by class and crossing and more, is conveniently posted on the NYSBA website.


New York State Bridge Authority - Current Toll Fare Schedule
effective May 1, 2020
.
classvehicle descriptionE-ZPassCash
1Cars, Pick-ups & Motorcycles - 2 axles, less than 7' 6" in height$1.35$1.75
Commuter Plan for passenger vehicles only, minimum of 17 trips each month$1.10n/a
22 axles, more than 7' 6" in height$4.90$6.00

Commercial vehicles
2 axles$4.90$6.00
3 axles$7.35$9.00
4 axles$9.80$12.00
5 axles$12.25$15.00
6 axles$14.70$18.00

Other
extra axle with class 1$1.00$1.25
extra axle with classes 2 through 6$2.45$3.00



   I had long since known that scrip was issued by the New York State Bridge Authority, as I had acquired the following piece about 15 years ago.

   Until now, I did not have an approximation of its age. Upon creating this particular chapter of the website, I was at least able to determine it was issued before 1963, when the Newburgh Beacon Bridge opened, and as it is not listed on the scrip. However the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge is listed and that opened in 1957. Upon review of the historical toll tariff tables as published on the NYSBA website, I believe this toll scrip denomination of
$1.00 was issued to vehicles larger than passenger automobiles, as their toll rate for the period after 1945 for passenger cars was 50 cents.

   Scrip, tickets and receipts in my collection reflect the following tolls: .50, $1.00, $1.25, $1.50. The cash toll is now $1.75, with E-ZPass accepted and discounted.

NYSBA Toll Scrip - $1.00 - 1957 through 1963
(Newburgh Beacon Bridge not listed)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein


   In 1970, all the bridges were converted to one way tolling (collected eastbound only) and the toll doubled (as they had been for all Hudson River Bridges, even those in New York City and under the jurisdiction of the Port of New York Authority / Port of New York and New Jersey).

   Another gem re-homed from the George Cuhaj collection (thanks George!) is this scrip ticket and booklet cover from 1979:

New York State Bridge Authority toll scrip - 5/31/1979
Globe Ticket Company
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
.
New York State Bridge Authority toll scrip booklet - 5/31/1979
front cover
back cover
.
New York State Bridge Authority toll scrip booklet - 5/31/1979
inside front cover & face of receipt
.
New York State Bridge Authority toll scrip booklet - 5/31/1979
inside back cover & back of receipt


New York State Bridge Authority Receipts
Bear Mountain Bridge toll receipt - .50 - June 3, 1979
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

.

Bear Mountain Bridge toll receipt - October 20, 1986 - .50
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

.

NYSBA commemorative receipt for Newburgh Beacon Bridge Opening Day - November 2, 1963 - 8:26 PM
(cardstock)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Newburgh Beacon Bridge toll receipt - May 12, 1979 - .50
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Newburgh Beacon Bridge toll receipt - April 7, 1984 - 5:38 PM - $.50
(dot matrix)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Newburgh Beacon Bridge toll receipt - November 15, 2018 - 16:34 PM - $1.50
(thermal ink paper)

collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

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Mid Hudson Bridge toll receipt - 1.50 - ca. 1967
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
Mid Hudson Bridge toll receipt - .50 - April 1, 1978
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge Souvenir Ticket - $1.50 - May 11, 1957
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge Committee Membership Card #935 - unknown date, but came with Souvenir Ticket above
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge toll receipt - .50 - June 9, 1979
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
..

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Rip Van Winkle Bridge toll receipt - .50 - May 27, 1979
collection of Philip M. Goldstein






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Lake Champlain Bridge Commission

   

   The Lake Champlain Bridge Commission had jurisdiction of two bridges in the Lake Champlain vicinity: one at the north end of the lake at the Canadian border, Rouses Point; the other towards the south end, being Lake Champlain Bridge.

Lake Champlain Bridge

   The first Lake Champlain Bridge was a vehicular bridge traversing Lake Champlain between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point / Addison, Vermont via NY State Route 185.

   The first Champlain Bridge (also known as the Crown Point Bridge) opened to traffic in 1929 as a toll bridge; and was a 2,184-foot-long continuous truss bridge bridge that traversed Lake Champlain between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont. The bridge connected NY 185 in New York to VT 17 in Vermont. The half-mile, two-lane, bridge was jointly owned and maintained by the New York State Department of Transportation and the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  

   This bridge was closed due to safety concerns on October 16, 2009, and was taken down by explosive demolition on December 28, 2009. It was replaced by a new bridge which opened on November 7, 2011. 

   The new bridge was designed and constructed during an aggressive two-year schedule to minimize the social and economic impact of the original bridge's demolition.

   Tolls upon opening were noted as:


Lake Champlain Bridge Commission - Lake Champlain Bridge - Historical Toll Schedules
1929
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Pleasure Carssingle trip$1.00
round trip$1.50
no charge for passengers or drivers 


Rouses Point Bridge

   The Rouses Point Bridge opened in 1937 (its opening is announced on a 1936 brochure published by the Lake Champlain Bridge Commission). It connects Rouses Point, New York with Alburg, Vermont via US 2.

   The first Rouses Point Bridge was a Parker through truss structure, with a swing bridge center section for lake traffic transiting from the St. Lawrence River. It was built by the Lake Champlain Bridge Commission starting in 1937, with the opening to vehicular traffic on July 16, 1937.

   The original Rouses Point Bridge was replaced by the current, multi-span concrete deck on concrete girder span and is over a mile in length. This bridge opened in May 1987 and tolls at this crossing as well as at the Lake Champlain Bridge were abolished in 1987.

   According to a 1937 brochure, the tolls upon opening of the Rouses Point Bridge as well as the Lake Champlain Bridge were as follows:

Lake Champlain Bridge Commission - Lake Champlain & Rouses Point Bridges
Historical Toll Schedules - 1937


Single Trip Rates
Automobiles including passengers$1.00
automobile trailers.50
Small Buses$2.00
Large Buses$3.00
Trucks, up to 1 ton capacity$1.00
Trucks, 1 ton to 2 ½ ton capacity$1.25
Trucks, 2 ½ ton to 5 ton capacity$1.50
Trucks over 5 ton capacity$2.00
Trucks over 5 ton capacity with trailer$2.50
Pedestrians.50

Round Trip Rates
Passenger automobiles$1.50
Trucks - quote upon request

   A 1949 Brochure published by the Lake Champlain Bridge authority state toll have been reduced to .25 cents for passenger cars including drivers and passengers.
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Lake Champlain Bridge Monthly Commutation Ticket
unknown date

Bridge commuters could buy a book of toll tickets
to cross the lake at discount rates.
William G. LaFrance, Jr. collection
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Lake Champlain Bridge toll receipt - 50 cents - September 21, 1979
collection of Philip M. Goldstein




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     The International Crossings     


   The State of New York also carries with it the fortunate distinction of being located on an international border, that being with Canada. These crossings have a special importance as not only are they river crossings, but they are also gateways for international commerce.

   Four international crossings exist between New York in the United States and Canada, and fortunately they are known to have issued tokens and / or scrip for toll payment.

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Cornwall - Massena International Bridge
   

   The Cornwall - Massena International Bridge is an international crossing connecting New York State and the Province of Ontario, Canada. It now consists of two spans: the South Channel and the North Channel Bridges. 

   Designed by Hugh and Philip Louis Pratley, the South Channel Bridge was opened in 1958, and spans the St. Lawrence Seaway. The North Channel Bridge, which opened in 2014; connects the City of Cornwall to Cornwall Island.

   The South Channel Bridge when first opened was a private bridge whose outstanding stock was then purchased by the Saint Lawrence Seaway Authority (Canada) and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (U.S.) in 1957. It became incorporated in Canada in 1962.

   The bridges are jointly owned by the Federal Bridge Corporation (a Crown corporation of the Canadian Government) and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, which is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. It is operated by the Seaway International Bridge Corporation, which became under the control of the Federal Bridge Corporation from the Saint Lawrence Seaway Authority in 1998.

   The crossing is now known as the Seaway International Bridge, and of the numerous crossings between New York and Canada, this is one of the busiest, and averages approximately two million crossings a year. The current toll, as of April 2019 is as follows. 

    The North Channel Bridge was re-named the Three Nations Crossing in recognition of the three Native American Nations it connects: Canada, Akwasasne, and the U.S.A.

   It is known that this crossing employed the use of tokens for use at the toll booths. Research is pending on issues of Toll Scrip.


Seaway International Bridge - Current Toll Schedule
.
Gross Vehicle Weight RatingToll Fares
pounds (SAE)kilograms (metric)# axlesUS $CAN $
under 9,000 poundsunder 4,080 kilograms2$3.00$3.75
3$4.50$5.50
4$5.75$7.25

over 9,000 pounds over 4,080 kilograms2$9.50$7.50
3$11.75$9.25
4$14.00$11.00
5$16.25$13.00
6$18.50$14.75
7$20.75$16.50
8$23.00$18.25
9$25.25$20.00
10$27.50$21.75
Recreational Vehicles$9.50$7.50
All unused idler axles in the retracted position must be placed into lowered position and counted in tariff.

10% Discount when you use Seaway Transit Card


Cornwall - Massena International Bridge Tokens
Cornwall International Bridge Company - ca. 1979
NY560A (no serifs) - 27mm - white metal
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Cornwall International Bridge Company - ca. 1979
NY560B (no serifs) - 25mm - white metal
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Cornwall International Bridge Company - ca. 1979
NY560C (with serifs) - 25mm - white metal
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein





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Ogdensburg - Prescott International Bridge



   The Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge crosses the St. Lawrence Seaway and connects Ogdensburg, New York, USA with Johnstown, Ontario in Canada. The bridge is also known as the St. Lawrence Bridge and the Seaway Skyway.

   It is a suspension bridge designed by Modjeski & Masters and of
which was completed in 1960. It is comprised of 6 spans with a main span 1,150.8 feet, and with approaches it totals 1.5 miles in length.

   The Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge allows for both passenger and commercial vehicles to cross the Canada - United States border; however neither bicyclists or nor pedestrians are permitted to cross this bridge. The bridge is a very popular border crossing for passenger vehicles due to its proximity to Ottawa, the capital of the Ontario Province.

   As the bridge was designed for heavy loads and has a weight capacity of 105,000 pounds, the weight limit easily accommodates semi-trailer trucks of multiple axles, but as the bridge is not directly connected to to any American interstate highway, it does not see as much commercial traffic as the neighboring Thousand Islands Bridge to the southwest.

   On the Canadian side, the bridge connects to Highway 16 and on the American side the bridge connects to New York State Route 812.

   The bridge is owned and operated by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, which is a New York State public-benefit corporation.

   A printed brochure located online and issued by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority mentions truck scrip, but it is not dated and does not conform to the present toll schedule. However it does match the toll rates as filed in accordance with Codes Rules Regulations of New York, 21-5704.1, for the Ogdensburg International Bridge were as follows, effective July 12, 2006.

   It is now understood that there was scrip issued for this bridge, but at the current time, its appearance is not known.


Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority - Historical Toll Schedule
July 12, 2006

.
vehicletoll rate US $
Automobile (one way)  2.75
2 axle truck  5.00
3 axle truck  6.00
4 axle truck  6.50
5 axle truck  8.50
6 axle truck  10.00
7 axle truck  11.50
8 axle truck  13.00
9 axle truck  14.50
10 axle truck  16.00
additional axles (each)  1.00
School Buses  2.00
Commercial Buses  5.00

Special Fares
The authority's special toll rates, effective July 12, 2006, are as follows:
(a) Truck toll scrip.
120 fifty-cent tickets for $60, less 10 percent discount for payment in advance.

(b) Passenger discount program.
75 trips for $90, valid for a two-month period from the date of issuance.
60 trips for $100, valid for six-month period from the date of issuance.
20 trips for $37, valid for six-month period from the date of issuance.

(c) Special toll promotions are specifically authorized by the authority as follows:
(1) Retail organizations shall receive a 25 percent discount from the normal $2 fare by purchasing a book containing 50 crossings for $75.

(2) School, community and/or not-for-profit organizations shall receive a 50 percent discount from the normal $2 fare by purchasing a book containing 50 crossings at $75.



   It is known that the printed scrip has been replaced with RFID "Commuter Cards", as seen below. Current tolls as per the Ogdensport Bridge & Port Authority website are as follows.


Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority - Current Toll Schedule
effective April 15, 2019
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vehicle typeUS $
Automobile $3.25
2 Axle Truck $6.75
3 Axle Truck $8.50
4 Axle Truck $10.25
5 Axle Truck $12.00
6 Axle Truck $13.75
7 Axle Truck $15.50
8 Axle Truck $17.25
9 Axle Truck $19.00
10 Axle Truck $20.75
Over 10 Axles $1.75 per axle
Bus (Commercial) $6.75
Commercial Truck Permit $65.00
Commercial Oversized Escort Fee $140.00
Commercial Overweight Escort Fee $1,000.00
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Truck Toll Card:
6 Crossings (6 month expiration)$66.00
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Commuter Card (passenger vehicles)
20 Crossings - 6 month expiration$52.00
60 Crossings - 6 month expiration $156.00
75 Crossings - 2 month expiration$195.00





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Thousand Islands Bridge Authority


   The Thousand Islands International Bridge (French: Pont des Mille-îles) is an American-maintained international bridge system over the Saint Lawrence River connecting northern New York in the United States with southeastern Ontario in Canada.

   The suspension bridge was designed by
Robinson and Steinman and constructed in 1937, with additions in 1959. The bridges span the Canada– United States border in the middle of the Thousand Islands region. All bridges in the system carry two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, with pedestrian sidewalks.

   The Thousand Islands International Bridge system is a series of five bridges that span parts of the St. Lawrence River, ultimately connecting both banks. From south (US) to north (Canada):

  1. Collins Landing (American mainland) to Wellesley Island (main span) and US Customs Inspection Point (for southbound traffic).
  2. Wellesley Island to Hill Island (international crossing) - and Canadian Border Services Inspection Point (for northbound traffic).
  3. Hill Island (Canada) to Constance Island (Canada)
  4. Constance Island (Canada) to Georgina Island (Canada)
  5. Georgina Island (Canada) to Canadian mainland

   

   The southern end of the bridge connects with Interstate 81 and the northern end of the bridge connects to Ontario Highway 401 via Highway 137. There is also an interchange with the Thousand Islands Parkway on the Ontario side.

   The actual international border bridge crossing is a set of two parallel 90 foot long bridges between Wellesley Island in the United States and Hill Island in Canada.

   The bridge system is administered by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority, a New York State public benefit corporation, whose seven board members are appointed by the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. Four board members are US citizens and three are Canadian citizens. 

   Current tolls are paid by cash, by E-ZPass, or with a Commuter Discount Fare Trip Tag, which is good for either 16 trips for $20.00 or 72 trips for $32.00. The Bridge Authority has joined the multi-state E-ZPass consortium and introduced electronic toll collection in June 2019. 

Thousand Islands Bridge Authority - Current Toll Schedule
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vehicle
class
description# axlesUS $
CAN $
1Automobiles, Pick Up Trucks, Motorcycles2$3.00$4.00
2Automobiles, Pick Up Trucks with single axle trailer3$4.75$6.50
3Recreational Vehicles, School Buses, Island Delivery2$4.50$5.75
4Trucks and Buses2$6.75$8.50
5Tractor Trailer Trucks3$8.50$11.00
6Tractor Trailer Trucks4$10.25$13.50
7Tractor Trailer Trucks5$12.00$16.00
8Tractor Trailer Trucks6$13.75$18.50
9Tractor Trailer Trucks7$15.50$21.00
10Tractor Trailer Trucks8$17.25$23.50
Additional Axles Any One Vehicle Class1$1.75$2.50
Commercial Escort Fee$140.00$185.00
Commuter Discount Fare Card (16 Trip)$23.00$30.00
Commuter Discount Fare Card (72 Trip)$35.00$48.00

   The Commutation Tickets seen below was for commuters on the United States side, commuting from Collins Landing, New York (US mainland) and Wellesley Island.


Thousand Islands Bridge Authority prepaid toll scrip - Special Class 8 - date unknown
Round Trip Commutation Tickets between Collins Landing & Wellesley Island, American Span Only

collection of Philip M. Goldstein






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.




Niagara Falls Bridge Commission




crossingspan typeopening date
Lewiston-Queenston Bridgesuspension
suspension

steel arch
1851-1854 (or 1864)
July 21, 1899 - November 2, 1962

November 1, 1962
Whirlpool Rapids Bridgedouble deck steel arch (upper deck railway / lower deck automobile)August 27, 1897
Rainbow Bridgesteel archNovember 1, 1941


   The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission (NFBC) was established by Joint Resolution of the 1938 U.S. Congressional Third Session. This resolution created the outline for the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission as it currently is constituted.

   The Extra Provincial Corporations Act by the Province of Ontario, Canada; issues the operational license for the NFBC. As such, both Canada and the United States are equally represented on the NFBC by the bi-national appointment of an eight-member Board of Commissioners.
 
   The NFBC was established to finance, construct and operate the three international bridges across the Niagara River connecting the Province of Ontario, Canada and the State of New York, United States. These bridges being (from north to south), the: Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge.

   The NFBC was initially established to finance, construct and operate the Rainbow Bridge. However following completion of that bridge and its subsequent operation, and considering the effectiveness and efficiency at which the Commission operated, its role was subsequently expanded.

   Therefore, through amendments to the Joint Resolution in the U.S., and by the Rainbow Bridge Amendment Act of 1959 and the Queenston Bridge Act of 1959 in Canada;
the NFBC’s powers and authority expanded. These enactments empowered the NFBC to assume responsibilities for the Whirlpool Rapids (Lower) and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges as well.

   In the present day, in addition to owning and operating three international bridges, the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission constructs and maintains facilities for Customs and Immigration functions on both the Canadian and United States sides of the international border. The NFBC is self-supportive, largely through user fees (tolls) and private-sector tenant leases; and the
NFBC conducts international commercial financial transactions and issues federal (U.S.) tax-exempt bonds.

   Th
e Rainbow Bridge was designed by architect Richard (Su Min) Lee to replace the ice damaged Honeymoon Bridge. His design was used again for the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, approximately 6 miles downriver.

   The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge was designed by civil engineer Leffert L. Buck, who had been hired to maintain the pre-existing Roebling Suspension Bridge across the Niagara Gorge. Buck settled for a bridge of the arch design. At that time of design, arch bridges had become the favored design railway bridges and were more cost-efficient than suspension type bridges. Beginning on April 9, 1896, the new bridge was built around and below the Suspension Bridge, replacing it a piece at a time.  His plan allowed bridge traffic - railroad and pedestrian, to continue without disruption. By August 27, 1897, the last pieces of the Suspension Bridge were dismantled, leaving the Lower Steel Arch Bridge, later renamed the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge;in its stead.

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Tolling

   
Historical tolls for the three bridges are under research.

   Brochures seen for the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and dated 1939 and 1942; list a .25 cent toll for car & driver and .05 cents for each additional passenger. A toll receipt seen on eBay (and now part of my collection) which is dated July 30, 1952, lists .40 cents for automobile.

   The following schedule was located in WestLaw, but unfortunately no date is given. Extrapolating the automobile rate, it should be the toll schedule effective June 17, 1991.

OFFICIAL COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
TITLE 21. MISCELLANEOUS
CHAPTER XX. NIAGARA FALLS BRIDGE COMMISSION
PART 950. RULES AND REGULATIONS

21 CRR-NY 950.2 Toll rates: Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids and Lewiston-Queenston bridges.

(a) Cash toll - one way - toll collected in both directions
US $CAN $
1Children under 5 yearsFreeFree
2Pedestrians25¢25¢
3Automobile75¢1.00
4Trailers (passenger cars)75¢1.00
5Taxi cab75¢1.00
6Motorcycle75¢1.00
7Commercial vehicles (trucks)20¢ p.t.20¢ p.t.
Note: Truck rates based on gross weight per ton of vehicle and load - Motor trucks and driver - per ton
*
The right is reserved to examine the bill of lading to determine weight of cargo carried.
Minimum charge75¢1.00
8Wagon75¢1.00
9Bicycle25¢25¢
10Fire apparatus and driveFreeFree
11Motor bus (engaged in daily scheduled operation over bridge)2.002.50
12Motor bus and operator (not engaged in daily scheduled operation over bridge) - 2 axle2.002.50
Motor bus and operator (not engaged in daily scheduled operation over bridge) - 3 or more axles2.503.00
13Tractors (farm or commercial) and driver (no lugs permitted)75¢1.00
14Baby carriagesFreeFree
15AmbulanceFreeFree
16Funerals – each automobile & hearse75¢1.00
17Commercial Float - same as commercial vehicles (truck)
* Operators of trucks and tractor–trailer trucks, whether light or loaded, shall upon request of a bridge employee, permit examination of such papers and/or documents as may be deemed necessary to determine weight of the load being carried over the facility.
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(b) Commutation tolls - one way - collected in both directions

40 tokens per roll
Tokens honored on the Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids and the Lewiston-Queenston bridges.
20.00
(.50)
26.00
(.65)
Automobiles, taxis and trailers
1 token 
(1) Book containing 80 tickets good for three months after date of sale honored on the
Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids, and Lewiston-Queenston bridges
6.50
(.08)
Automobile and driver3 tickets
each additional occupant1 ticket
Pedestrian1 ticket or 1 token
(2)Pedestrian toll token, no expiry date, - 16 tokens -
(for pedestrian use only - not good for passengers in vehicles)
1.30
(.08)

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Niagara Falls Bridge Commission - Historical Toll Schedules
.
1939
Rainbow 
19814/20/1990
each direction
6/17/1991
each direction
1
7/1/1995
each direction
1/1/1996 5
each direction
Date?
3/30/1998 7
one way to Canada
11/2002?2/1/200711/15/2007 6
US $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $US $CAN $
cash - car & driver.25.50.50.50.50.751.001.001.25n/cn/c2.002.502.503.503.003.003.503.253.25
each passenger 1.5.10.10.10.10rate abolished
commuter token
(rolls of 40)
.50
20.00
.65
26.00
.66.86.70
28.00
.90
36.00
.90
36.00
1.275
$51.00
ExpressPass 22.75
Nexus card 32.35
truck per ton 4n/cup 25%n/c
buses 2 axle 1.50 for driver
.10 each passenger
.50 for driver
.10 each passenger
2.002.503.003.50n/c10.25
buses 3 axle 12.503.004.004.50n/c13.50
pedestrian / bicycle.10.25
recreational vehicles3.25
trucks 5 axles13.0020.0013.0020.0017.0020.00
1 - driver / passenger rate abolished - flat rate per vehicle instituted 6/17/1991
2 - ExpressPass @ 15% discount introduced 10/18/2007 to supplement tokens
3 - Nexus Card (Canada) introduced
4 - per ton rates abolished in favor of per axle rates on unknown date

5 - commutation rate change only - all other rates remained unchanged
6 - due to currency parity; tolls became equal for US and CAN dollar
7 - Rainbow Bridge became dedicated commuter crossing.

Whirlpool Rapids Bridge became token only 4/21/2003, Nexus only 10/2/2003
E-ZPass accepted at all crossings Late Summer 2014


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   Current tolls are collected westbound (towards Canada) only and are as follows:

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission - Current Toll Schedule
.
US $

CAN $

.
Automobiles
(Cash, E-ZPass, ExpressPass)
Cash 4.00 5.50
E-ZPass 4.00 N/A
ExpressPass 4.00 5.50
Nexus/Toll 4.00 5.50
In Tow per Axle 4.00 5.50
.
Commercial (Cash, E-ZPass, ExpressPass)
2 Axles 6.00 8.25
3 Axles 11.00 15.25
4 Axles 19.00 26.25
5 Axles 28.50 39.50
6 Axles 41.00 57.00
7 Axles 54.00 75.00
8 Axles 66.00 91.25
9 Axles 79.00 109.50
10 Axles 92.00 127.50
11 Axles 105.00 145.50
12 Axles 118.00 163.50
.
Buses: (Cash, E-ZPass, ExpressPass)
2 Axle 10.50 14.50
3 Axle 14.50 20.00
Recreational Vehicle / Limousine per Axle 4.00 5.50




Niagara Falls Bridge Commission - 1968
NY640G - 16mm - brass
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Niagara Falls Bridge Commission - 6/16/1991
NY640H - 25mm - white metal w/ 19mm copper center
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Rainbow Bridge Receipt - July 30, 1952
.40 - Automobile
collection of Philip M. Goldstein





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Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority

The Peace Bridge



   The Peace Bridge is an international bridge between Canada and the United States at the east end of Lake Erie at the source of the Niagara River, about 12 ½ miles upriver of Niagara Falls. It connects Buffalo, New York; in the United States to Fort Erie, Ontario; in Canada. It is operated and maintained by the bi-national Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority.

   The building of the Peace Bridge was approved by the International Joint Commission on August 6, 1925 with Edward Lupfer serving as chief engineer. The bridge is a multi-span deck type truss and arch bridge totalling 5,800 feet in length.

   Construction began in 1925 and was by spring of 1927 the bridge was completed. On March 13, 1927, Chief Engineer Lupfer drove the first automobile across the bridge; however the opening to the public took place on June 1, 1927.

   The official opening ceremony was held two months later, on August 7, 1927; with about 100,000 people in attendance. The festivities were transmitted to the public via radio in the first international coast-to-coast broadcast.

   The dignitaries who took part in the dedication ceremonies representing Canada and the Crown, were: HRH Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII), HRH Prince George, Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and Province of Ontario Premier Howard Ferguson. 

   Representing the United States and the State of New York were Vice President Charles Dawes, Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and New York Governor Alfred Smith.

   When the bridge opened, Buffalo and Fort Erie each became the chief port of entry to their respective countries from the other. At the time, this was the only vehicular bridge on the Great Lakes from Niagara Falls to New York. The bridge remains one of North America's most important commercial ports, with four thousand trucks crossing it daily.

Tolling

   Historical Toll Rates are noted below. Information comes from a wide variety of sources, including but not limited to articles in the Buffalo Times, Democrat & Chronicle, Trucknews.com, as well as Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority fiscal doucuments located on the the internet.

   The following article was located in the June 30th, 1993 issue of the Buffalo Times via their digital archives. We can take away several important facts from this article, and of which I have highlighted. I have also included several other articles which follow.

   As of midnight tonight, Peace Bridge travelers will experience major changes when they cross back and forth between Buffalo and Fort Erie.

   The greatest difference will be one-way tolls. Money will be collected on the outbound Buffalo side of the bridge only, with passenger vehicles coming into the United States from Canada driving straight through to U.S. Customs booths with no toll stop.

   Commercial trucks will continue to pay tolls for each trip across the bridge.

   The other big change will be felt in the wallet, with the travelers forking over $1.25 as they head over to Fort Erie. Even though they'll pay nothing on their return trip, that price represents a 25 percent increase from the current 50-cent-per-crossing toll.

   Bridge Authority Vice Chairman Peter B. Sullivan said despite the scope of toll changes, he expects a smooth transition.

   "Most of the regular bridge users are probably aware of the impending changes. It's been in the paper, there are signs posted near the toll booths. I don't think they'll be caught off guard," Sullivan said. "And as for novice bridge crossers, they'll just follow the signs and pay in the appropriate way," Sullivan said. "The biggest problem will be with local people who don't cross the bridge very often. They may pull up and be surprised about the $1.25. There'll be a period of adjustment, but it shouldn't lead to delays," he said.

   Despite the price hike, Peace Bridge officials are quick to point out they are still the best buy when it comes to bridges between the U.S. and Canada. They also note the price of crossing the bridge has remained at $1 for a round-trip since 1984.

   With the switch, the Peace Bridge is the only local bridge collecting tolls on a one-way basis.

   The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, which oversees the international spans in Niagara County, does, however, have long-range plans to change to one-way collections as part of an extensive capital project list.

   Peace Bridge regulars will also bid adieu to the familiar Peace Bridge coupon book. The bulk discount passes are being replaced by silver- and copper-striped tokens.

   Like their paper predecessors, they can be purchased in batches of 25 and will substantially reduce the bridge crossing cost for frequent travelers.

   Token users will be able to make the round trip for 80 cents, saving 45 cents off the new toll price. Unused paper passes can be redeemed at the bridge for a face value of 28 cents per pass. Going hand-in-hand with the introduction of tokens are two new automatic collection lanes for Canada-bound traffic. The sophisticated Australian-made collection machines will accept tokens, as well as U.S. and Canadian change.

   Tokens will not be accepted at the manned toll booths, only in the machine lanes. Under the new toll structure, passenger cars, trailers, motorcycles, ambulances and hearses, will all pay $1.25 heading into Canada. 

   The toll for buses will increase from a current $2.50 each way to $6.50 one way.

   Commercial trucks will continue to pay tolls both going into Canada and crossing into the United States. Those fees, however, will increase from 20 cents per ton of gross weight to 25 cents per ton.

   Bridge officials estimate 1993 toll revenues will top $2.2 million with initiation of the higher tolls in June. In 1994, with a full 12 months of tolls and a minimum traffic increase of 4.5 percent, the revised tolls are expected to bring in $4.5 million. The increased revenue will help fund a slate of recently announced capital improvements on both the Fort Erie and Buffalo bridge plazas.


Fort Erie & Buffalo Public Bridge Authority Peace Bridge release - November 16, 2007

Car tolls will be $3.00 in either currency for a round trip and all commercial tolls will also be at parity, effective December 1, 2007.


Buffalo Democrat & Chronicle  - October, 8 2016

BUFFALO - Drivers crossing the Peace Bridge to get into Canada will soon have to cough up a little more cash.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2018, the toll for passenger vehicles will rise 75 cents to $3.75. If that wasn't enough, E-Z pass drivers will also lose their 10 percent discount.

The Peace Bridge Authority unanimously OK'd the toll hike Friday.

The additional revenue will go to help pay for the span's $185-million rehabilitation project over the next few years.

The last toll increase for the Peace Bridge was in 2007.


Buffalo Times  - October 12, 2018

FORT ERIE, Ont. – The Peace Bridge Authority is examining how it will eventually raise tolls on its international span over the Niagara River.

No toll hike is imminent, but members of the binational authority meeting Friday asked Peace Bridge staff to recommend ways to avoid substantial increases after a long period of price stability. Car tolls rose from $3 to $3.75 on Jan. 1 after no hike since 2007, while commercial vehicles have experienced no increase since the same year.

“Instead of a 10, 15 or 20 percent increase every decade, we’re looking at something based more on the cost of living as a strategy,” said General Manager Ron Rienas, adding no commercial toll hikes will be considered until 2020 at the earliest.

“It’s important to note that tolls are paying for our current $100 million rehab project,” he added. “There are no tax dollars involved.”

The authority also voted to eliminate EZPass discounts for commercial traffic beginning July 1. Rienas noted that the 10 percent break on tolls was implemented years ago to encourage use, but incentives are no longer needed because 85 percent of truck traffic now uses the automatic toll payment system. He noted the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission has also eliminated the discounts.

“There is no need for the EZPass discount to get people to sign up,” he said.

Rienas also reported that the last phase of the three-year, $100 million deck replacement program will begin Monday, with work proceeding at night when traffic is lightest. Traffic will be reduced from three lanes to two until May as crews concentrate on the center lane, which he said will present the most challenges as traffic proceeds on both sides of the work area.

The authority approved a $135 million capital budget for the next five years and a $31 million operating budget for 2019. Major projects still slated at the bridge include the last phase of deck replacement, a painting program last addressed more than 20 years ago, a $3.8 million rehabilitation of the authority’s R.F. Willson Administration Building on the Buffalo plaza, a $3.4 million toll collection system upgrade, and new LED signs at toll booths.

 


Buffalo Times - October 2, 2020

   Coping with a 94% drop in passenger traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic, Peace Bridge officials have announced a toll increase along with new efforts to promote significant savings through use of E-ZPass.

   Cars crossing the international span between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont., will be charged $4 (U.S.) beginning Dec. 1, up from $3.75, but only for those with E-ZPass transponders affixed to their windshields. Motorists still using cash will be charged $6 (U.S.) beginning Dec. 1, and $8 on March 1, 2021.

   Ron Rienas, general manager of the Peace Bridge Authority, said the increasingly widespread use of cashless tolling – especially in New York State – is nudging the change at the international crossing.

   "If you pay by cash, you'll be paying a lot more," he said. "The whole point is that you don't have to pay $6 or $8. With E-ZPass you'll get the lowest rate on the northern border."

   The last toll increase was instituted in January of 2018. But Rienas noted that car traffic, especially, has been "decimated" by the pandemic and the border shutdown imposed by the Canadian government back on March 21. As a result, truck traffic has also dropped 13%, while revenues have fallen from the closed Canadian Duty Free Store and U.S. Duty Free operating at reduced hours.

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   With the various documents I now had at my disposal, I was able to tabulate a rather comprehesive history of the toll schedule for the Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority. Unfortunately, gaps remain in the history that need to be filled in:

Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority - Historical Toll Schedules
.
prior to
June 30, 1993
July 1, 1993 1, 2May 1, 1995November 1, 1996June 1, 1997January 1, 19982000 4
cash cashcashcashchargecashchargecashchargecash charge
US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $US $ CAN $
Automobile.501.251.251.251.501.502.002.002.502.002.502.252.75
Auto token 3, 5.80.801.001.001.281.321.721.321.721.521.92
Buses2.506.506.508.006.508.007.509.0010.0011.50
Trucks (per ton).20 .25 2.30.375.30.30.30.375.30.30.35.44.35.35.41.51.41.51
1 - One way tolling for westbound (towards Canada) cars & buses instituted
2 - Two way tolling remained for trucks, rates charged are per US gross ton
3 - Tokens sold in rolls of 25
4 - beginning in 2002, the Authority instituted an axle-based methodology for toll rate setting for trucks (set forth in the table below) that was not comparible to the weight based methodology used in the table above.

5 -Tokens sales ceased January 2002

1/20/20024/1/20077/1/20071/18/2018 2
E-ZPass (US $)Cash US $Cash CAN $E-ZPass (US $)Cash US $Cash CAN $E-ZPass (US $)Cash US $Cash CAN $E-ZPass (US $)Cash US $Cash CAN $ 1
.
Passenger Vehicles
Auto1.752.503.502.703.003.50n/cn/cn/c3.753.755.00
Auto & Trailer3.505.007.005.406.007.00n/cn/cn/c7.507.5010.00
.
Commerical Vehicles
2 axle truck4.505.007.00n/cn/cn/c5.406.007.00n/cn/cn/c
3 axle truck7.208.0012.00n/cn/cn/c9.0010.0012.00n/cn/cn/c
4 axle truck13.5015.0022.00n/cn/cn/c16.2018.0022.00n/cn/cn/c
5 axle truck19.8022.0033.00n/cn/cn/c25.2028.0033.00n/cn/cn/c
6 axle truck28.8032.0048.00n/cn/cn/c36.0040.0048.00n/cn/cn/c
7 axle truck37.8042.0063.00n/cn/cn/c47.7053.0063.00n/cn/cn/c
Bus9.4510.5015.50n/cn/cn/c11.7013.0015.50n/cn/cn/c
.
Also effective July 1, 2007
, new fees were implemented for any special loads that required any bridge lanes to be closed or traffic patterns to be altered on the bridge to accomodate such load. The new fees were:
Special Loads arriving 12 am - 12 pm100.00120.00
Special Loads arriving 12 pm - 12 am200.00240.00
1 - assumes an exchange rate of $1.33 US $ to $1.00 CAN 
2 - discount for E-ZPass eliminated
Due to the strengthening of the Canadian dollar in 2007, the Board adopted a toll equity policy on November 17, 2007.
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   Once vehicles leave the customs plaza in Canada, they approach a smaller toll plaza to pay the toll for using the Peace Bridge. Payment for tolls are collected in either cash (US or Canadian), as well as Peace Bridge tokens. There are no toll booths on the US side and no tolls are collected from US bound vehicles, nor are tolls collected for pedestrians or cyclists.

   After new toll facilities were installed on the Canadian side in 2005, the Peace Bridge became the first E-ZPass facility outside the United States. However, as witnessed by the historic and current toll schedules, the discount for using E-ZPass was discontinued in 2018; but E-ZPass was still accepted. The current toll is $3.75 USD or $5.00 CAD, paid westbound (to Canada) only. 

   However, if I understand correctly, with the announcement on October 2, 2020 of toll hikes scheduled to take place in December 2020 and March 2021, it appears a discount will once again be offered for E-ZPass users:

"Cars crossing the international span between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ont., will be charged $4 (U.S.) beginning Dec. 1, 2020, up from $3.75, but only for those with E-ZPass transponders affixed to their windshields. Motorists still using cash will be charged $6 (U.S.) beginning Dec. 1, and $8 on March 1, 2021.

Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority - Current Toll Schedules
.
vehicleE-ZPassCash USDCash CAD
Automobiles3.753.755.25
Automobiles with trailer7.507.5010.50
Commercial Vehicles, 2 axles7.007.0010.00
Commercial Vehicles, 3 axles11.0011.0015.00
Commercial Vehicles, 4 axles20.0020.0028.00
Commercial Vehicles, 5 axles30.0030.0042.00
Commercial Vehicles, 6 axles43.0043.0060.00
Commercial Vehicles, 7+ axles57.0057.0079.00
Buses14.0014.0019.00
Pedestrians & Bicyclesno toll


Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority prepaid toll scrip - Class 1 - ca. 1960 through 7/1/1993
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority - 1927
Pedestrian 1 Fare 

NY105B - 21mm - brass
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority - 7/1/1993
NY105L - 23mm - white metal with copper stripe inlay
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority - 8/9/1987
NY200A (Tranportation Related - not actual fiscal issue) - 26mm - brass
(shown larger than actual size for detail)
collection of Philip M. Goldstein
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all text & images: © 2020 Philip M. Goldstein ~ www.nyctollscrip.info
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