Tolls on Thruway won’t rise next year

Au­thor­ity’s 2017 bud­get smaller than cur­rent plan

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

Tolls on the New York Thruway will not in­crease in 2017, the Thruway Au­thor­ity board has de­cided.

It will be the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year with no in­crease. Gov. An­drew Cuomo has pledged to keep tolls at cur­rent lev­els through 2020.

The Thruway Au­thor­ity’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, Matthew Howard, pre­sented his pro­posed 2017 bud­get of $1.8 bil­lion to the board on Mon­day.

The spend­ing plan is smaller than this year’s $2 bil­lion bud­get, in part be­cause the state Canal Corp., which has been man­aged by the Thruway Au­thor­ity, will be trans­ferred next year to the New

York Power Au­thor­ity, and also be­cause spend­ing for

the new Tappan Zee Bridge has peaked.

Au­thor­ity of­fi­cials are pro­ject­ing a po­ten­tial record vol­ume of traf­fic next year for the 60-year-old, 570-mile Thruway sys­tem,

with more than 267 mil­lion ve­hi­cles ex­pected to use it. Of­fi­cials ex­pect toll rev­enue to top $700 mil­lion in 2017.

The Thruway Au­thor­ity’s an­nual cap­i­tal bud­get for 2017, which in­cludes fund­ing

for the new Tappan Zee, also will be lower next year, Howard said.

“The cap­i­tal pro­gram in­cludes $721 mil­lion in spend­ing on the ... bridge, and in 2016, we bud­geted

for $1 bil­lion to be spent,” he said. “As the project reached com­ple­tion of many of the ma­jor as­pects, we in­di­cated that the an­nual spend­ing level would de­cline, so, as a re­sult, this

bud­get ac­tu­ally in­cludes a re­duc­tion of about $294 mil­lion spend­ing on the ... bridge in 2017.”

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