A protest by truckers against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s recent decision to increase tolls at the Hudson River crossings may cause heavy congestion of traffic into Manhattan next week.
Tolls are being increased March 25 to $6 per axle for trucks paying cash. E-ZPass users will pay $6 per axle during peak hours, $5 per axle during off-peak hours and $3.50 per axle during overnight hours. The hikes will go into effect for the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethels bridges, and the Outerbridge Crossing.
Protest organizer Joseph D’Alessio said the plan is to cause traffic delays starting within five miles of the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Outerbridge Crossing, and Goethals Bridge. Truckers will slow down to 5 mph. They will also turn on their headlights and sound their horns when they are a mile from the crossings, and pay the toll in small bills.
The protests are scheduled for March 12-15 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and will continue on Monday, March 19 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., unless the toll increase is eliminated. According to the Port Authority, 114,000 vehicles pass through the tollgates into Manhattan during that time.
The Port Authority, says the toll increase will help fund a five-year, $14-billion spending plan for expansions to the Newark, Kennedy and La Guardia airports, dredging of the channel at Holland Hook, rerouting Palisades Parkway traffic to the lower level of the George Washington Bridge and improving the Port Authority Trans-Hudson rail system.