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Vehicle crashes decline at Goethals Bridge with wider lanes and cashless tolling

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced Wednesday that the $1.5 billion investment in the new Goethals Bridge and the implementation of cashless tolling have yielded fewer crashes.

The agency says crashes at the bridge overall have declined by 57 percent due to the construction of wider lanes and shoulders of the new Goethals Bridge and the new cashless tolling system when measured against crashes in the same period before the upgrade to the cashless tolling system.

Kevin O’Toole, chairman, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Kevin O’Toole, chairman, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. – PANYNJ

“Meeting modern standards at the new Goethals Bridge and the implementation of cashless tolling at our crossings provides not only a better travel experience for our customers, but a direct traffic safety benefit through a reduction in crashes and injuries,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a statement. “We will continue to explore ways to leverage technology to improve safety and the customer experience not only for those using our New Jersey-New York crossings, but for the traveling public at the region’s airports and on the PATH system.”

In advancing the investment in the new Goethals Bridge, the Port Authority cited traffic safety improvements among the top goals of the project. The new Goethals Bridge meets modern highway standards with two 12-foot-wide travel lanes, a 12-foot outer shoulder, and a five-foot inner shoulder in each direction on the new bridge’s twin spans. The agency says these features have driven down the overall crash rate for drivers and improved response capability allowing for faster incident clearance and less related congestion.

In 2019, the accident rate on the new Goethals Bridge was 2.29 per million vehicles, down from 5.37 per million vehicles in 2014. This reduction occurred despite an increase of more than 7 million vehicles annually by 2019 at the crossing since 2014. After completion of the new bridge and institution of cashless tolling, individual crashes have decreased from 149 crashes prior to construction in 2014 when construction on the new bridge began to 81 crashes in 2019 after construction and after cashless tolling.

 

David Hutter
David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at: dhutter@njbiz.com.

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