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Re: Bridges

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Roger Turk wrote:
"I cannot remember how the toll booths are set up on the Triborough Bridge 
that connects the boroughs of Queens, Bronx and Manhattan, nor how the toll 
booths are set up on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which has an exit 
at Yerba Buena Island midway across the bay.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona"

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge went to one-way tolls about 30 years
ago.  Basically, a bridge user pays a toll to enter the bridge heading to
San Francisco and gets a free ride returning. No charge either way at Yerba
Buena Island. The other S. F. Bay Area state-owned bridges and the Golden
Gate Bridge (owned by the Golden Gate Bridge District) are set up similarly.
It required coordination of all the bridges to ensure that no incentives
were there to use one bridge free in one direction and another brdige free
in the opposite direction.  The current set up is:

Dumbarton Bridge: toll west bound, free east bound
San Mateo/Hayward bridge: toll west bound, free east bound
Richmond/San Rafael Bridge: Toll west bound, free east bound
Carquinez bridge: Toll northbound (I80 eastbound), free southbound (I80
Benicia-Martinez bridge: has one way toll but I don't recall which direction
Golden Gate Bridge: Toll southbound (into SF), Free outbound (northbound)

One of the issues that the State of California faced when they went to one
way tolls is that the toll revenues, when construction bond were issued,
were pledged to pay off the bonds.  Bond holders were initially quite
skeptical in removing the tolls from one direction (eventhough the one way
toll established was twice the former two-way toll).  When the decision was
made to go to one-way on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the
construction bonds either had been or were nearly paid off but bonds using
the bridge as collateral had been issued for the construction of the BART
tubes. Once the bond holders understood the efficiencies of having half the
number of toll-collection booths to staff, they decided it was a good deal
for them.

Bill Cain, SE
Oakland  CA

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