On April 30, 1921, the Port of New York Authority was established as a bi-state authority between New York and New Jersey. Two years later, the port had announced that two bridges would be constructed under their authority between Staten Island and New Jersey. The bridges would connect northwestern Staten Island with Elizabeth, New Jersey and southwestern Staten Island with Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The bridge gave Staten Island's South Shore Residents and commercial business access to New Jersey, which would ultimately lead to demise of Tottenville to Perth Amboy Ferry in the 1950's.Today, the ferry terminal is abandoned, but still intact at the foot of the Tottenville Train Station.

The southwestern bridge was given a steel cantilever design by John Alexander Low Waddell. It opened on June 29, 1928, along the northwestern Goethals Bridge. Nine days later, both bridges were dedicated, the southern in honor of Eugenius H. Outerbridge, the Port of New York Authority's first Chairman.  Very few people realized that the bridge was named after an actual person. Most people mistakenly thought that it was called Outer Bridge, since it was the southernmost bridge in New York State. Due to this common misconception, the bridge became known as the Outerbridge Crossing.

Since the implementation of the E-Z Pass in 1991, a few changes have been made to the Outerbridge Crossing. On June 19, 2003, the bridge became the first of the Port Authority's facilities to apply a 25-miles-per-hour speed limit. This speed limit intended to reduce congestion in the three inner lanes, which were to be used by E-Z Pass holders.  In 2005, another modification to the speed limit was made. On June 28, the Outerbridge Crossing became the first bridge to offer an express E-Z Pass opportunity in its region. The toll booths were removed in the designated lanes and E-Z Pass users were now permitted to pass through at 45 miles-per-hour.

On September 18, 2011, another change was made to the Outerbridge Crossing. This time, however, it did not benefit the commuters. To help the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey raise money for their numerous future projects on other facilities, they decided to raise the tolls on their bridges. People traveling from New Jersey into Staten Island will now be charged $9.50 for cars and $8.50 for motorcycles between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the weekdays.  On the weekends, this toll will be implemented from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Any other time, the fare for cars will be $12, while the fare for motorcycles will be $11 (10.2011).

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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