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January 19, 2007

Accidents Cut on Bridges
Safer Bridges a Priority

Highland, NY - 2006 was one of the safest years to travel across Hudson Valley bridges, according to statistics released by the New York State Bridge Authority today.

 Overall, accidents were reduced nearly 22 percent in 2006 across the five spans crossing the Hudson River, averaging one accident for every 343,000 crossings.

“Safety is one of our highest priorities,” James Sproat, Chairman of the Bridge Authority said. “We saw a small increase in accidents in 2005, mostly due to a tough winter, and decided to make sure we did everything we could to make 2006 a safer year.”

 Increased enforcement, improvements in engineering and mild weather so far this winter all contributed to the decline in accidents.  While the majority of accidents are minor - fender-benders, the combination of highway speed on the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and heavy volume on other bridges means accident prevention is an ongoing effort for the Bridge Authority.

The biggest decrease came on the Newburgh-Beacon span, which also has the highest traffic volume of any of the bridges.  Accidents dropped from 98 in 2005 to 73 in 2006.

 The Kingston-Rhinecliff (30 in 2005 to 18 in 2006) and the Rip Van Winkle Bridges (14 in 2005 to 8 in 2006) also saw significant drops and the Mid-Hudson Bridge, with the second highest volume of any bridge, saw a decrease in accidents (69 in 2005 to 61 in 2006).

The Bear Mountain Bridge, which had the lowest number of accidents for any span,  saw a small increase, from 9 to 11 accidents over the entire year.

Sproat also complimented the efforts of local police agencies and NYS Troopers who provide enforcement on the bridges and Palisades Park Police who provide additional enforcement on the Bear Mountain Bridge.  “Regular patrols and special details make our bridges safer for everyone,” Sproat said.

Quick Facts about the New York State Bridge Authority

  • The NYS Bridge Authority operates the Bear Mountain, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson, Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridges. 

  • The Authority is funded from bridge tolls and receives no tax monies for bridge maintenance and operation.

  • The Authority holds the highest bond rating of any toll-transportation entity in the United States, reducing bond and annual costs.

  • The $1 passenger vehicle toll for passage both ways on all Authority bridges is among the lowest nation-wide for self-supporting transportation agencies.

NYS Bridge Authority

Accident Reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

 

 

 

 

Bear Mountain Bridge

11

11

9

11

Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

92

95

98

73

Mid-Hudson Bridge

69

52

69

61

Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge

25

33

30

18

Rip Van Winkle Bridge

15

14

14

8

 

 

 

 

 

Total

212

205

220

171