Golden Gate Bridge gets high-tech tolling

Written by Jon Schmitz on .


The Golden Gate Bridge, 76 years old and one of the world’s most stately and enduring structures, has a new cutting-edge component: cashless tolling.

All-electronic tolling that allows drivers to pay without stopping debuted at the bridge on Wednesday, according to the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Technology similar to the E-ZPass system on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is used.

Speaking of the turnpike, in case you hadn’t heard, plans to convert to cashless tolling on America’s First Superhighway are moving ahead. It will take a few years, but the days of fumbling for change at toll booths are numbered. Those who don’t have E-ZPass will have their license plates photographed as they pass tolling points, and they will get bills in the mail.
Port Authority will have regular weekday service on Good Friday but its Downtown Service Center will be closed. The customer service line will be staffed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Service also will follow normal schedules on Saturday and Sunday.


Reader inquiry: Will the Port Authority make any special arrangements for users of the Castle Shannon park-n-ride lot when it closes for construction (either late this year or next year)? Aside from suggesting that they use the South Hills Village garage, which means a Zone 2 fare instead of Zone 1 plus a $2 daily parking fee, it doesn't appear so. Spokesman Jim Ritchie tells me there are no plans to allow riders boarding and alighting at the village to pay the Zone 1 fare; nor are there any plans to waive parking fees. That's going to ramp up the inconvenience and cost for Castle Shannon park-n-riders, but this is an agency that doesn't have much room to forgo revenue.

roadworkaheadPennDOT will try again to close the outbound-eastbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel for construction on the weekend of April 5-8. A closure planned for last weekend was canceled because of cold weather. The tunnel will close at 11 p.m. April 5 and reopen by 6 a.m. April 8. All outbound traffic will be required to merge into a single lane and exit at Squirrel Hill-Homestead. The posted detours follow Forward Avenue, Beechwood Boulevard, Forbes Avenue and South Braddock Avenue during the daytime, and Forward, Murray Avenue, Forbes and South Braddock after 8 p.m. Click here for our survival guide, prepared (pointlessly, as it turned out) for last weekend.

Two other weekend closures of the outbound tunnel tentatively are planned for the weekends of April 19 and 26. No restrictions will be in place in either direction during the upcoming Easter weekend.

Construction will resume on Route 65 between Chestnut Street in Sewickley and the Beaver County line on Monday. Single-lane traffic is possible in both directions from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through late April as crews tend to curbs, pavement markings and drainage.

Work on the $3.9 million expansion project at Broughton and Baptist roads in Bethel Park will resume Monday, weather permitting. Starting at 7 a.m. that day, and continuing around the clock through mid-October, eastbound Broughton Road will be closed from Paxton to Sansue drives, the same closure as during last year’s work. The detour follows Route 88, Route 51, Brownsville and Curry Hollow roads. Westbound Broughton Road will have one lane open between Paxton and Sansue. Baptist Road will remain open. This project will be completed in the fall.

The bridge that carries Plum Street over Plum Creek in Verona and Oakmont will be closed to traffic long-term beginning April 11 for repairs.

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