The New York State Bridge Authority
The New York State Bridge Authority was born out of the necessity for a bridge over the Hudson River which would link the city of Hudson and the village of Catskill.
On March 31, 1932, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law a bill sponsored by Greene County Assemblyman Ellis Bentley that created the Bridge Authority as an entity that would issue toll revenue bonds to pay for what would become the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
As a result of the Great Depression, New York State could not finance the bridge’s construction alone so NYSBA was established to manage construction of the project. Public bonds were purchased by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which the Authority had to pay back with toll money.
The New York State Bridge Authority has been self-sufficient throughout its more than seventy-five year history, operating without Federal or State tax monies and reinvesting toll revenues to continue to maintain and improve these vital Hudson River Crossings.
Quick Facts about the NYS Bridge Authority
The NYS Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon,
Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges.
The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies
for bridge maintenance and operation.
The Authority holds the highest bond rating given any public toll-transportation entity in the United States, reducing bond and annual costs.
The $1 passenger vehicle toll for east-bound passage on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nationwide for self-supporting transportation agencies
(there is no toll for west-bound passage).
Tolls today are actually lower, in real dollars, than they were in 1933
when the Authority began operations.
The Authority’s employee safety record has resulted in an “unusually high discount” from the state insurance fund, protecting workers and reducing costs.
Accidents on Authority bridges in 2007 were among the lowest in history, resulting in only one accident for every 385,000 crossings.