By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
CATSKILL — Tolls on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge will be going up effective May 1.
Toll increases will go into effect at all five of the bridges under the jurisdiction of the New York State Bridge Authority, including the Rip Van Winkle, Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson and Kingston-Rhinecliff bridges.
Costs will be discounted for drivers with E-ZPass tags compared to those who do not have a tag and are billed by mail.
Cars, pick-up trucks and motorcycles with an E-ZPass tag will pay $1.55, up 10 cents from the current rate of $1.45. Those billed by mail will pay $2, up a quarter from the present $1.75 rate.
Commercial vehicles, depending on how many axles, will pay $5.70 to $17.10 per crossing with E-ZPass, which is an increase from $5.30 to $15.90. Those who are billed by mail will pay $7 to $21, up from $6 to $18.
Drivers are charged at the electronic gantries on the Catskill side of the bridge; there is no toll for vehicles entering the bridge from the Hudson side.
“As part of a four-year, phased-in toll revision that started in 2020, rates will be increasing on May 1, 2022, and for a final time on May 1, 2023,” according to the New York State Bridge Authority.
The present rates have been in effect since May 1, 2021.
The four-year phased-in toll increases began in 2020 when rates rose to $1.25 for a discounted E-ZPass trip for a car or motorcycle, and cash payers paid $1.50 for a trip across the bridge.
Rates are expected to rise again May 1, 2023, with E-ZPass customers paying $1.65 per crossing, and Pay By Mail customers paying $2.15.
The Rip Van Winkle Bridge is a 5,041-foot span that was first opened July 2, 1935, and connects Greene and Columbia counties.
When the bridge first opened in 1935, a trip across cost $0.80 for passenger cars plus $0.10 per passenger to a maximum of $1, according to the Bridge Authority website. Trucks were charged between $1 and $1.50 and motorcycle drivers paid $0.20, or $0.35 with a sidecar. Tolls were charged in both directions, and there was a provision for one- and two-horse wagons as well.