Toll booth construction at 2 New York City bridges causing gridlock

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There is no shortage of anger over a commuter and monster traffic backups in New York City.

It's all because of toll booth work at the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges connecting the Bronx with Queens.

It seemed to start overnight, traffic around the Whitestone gets backed up and people get frustrated and start blocking the box.

"When traffic gets good and heavy, what happens is you have traffic coming from four different directions, five different directions, trying to make it onto that little entrance on the bridge," said Robert Trombley, Whitestone resident.

The problem is, the MTA is removing toll booths on the Whitestone and the Throgs Neck, the two bridges, so close together that feed traffic into the Bronx from Queens.

Because of the construction, they had to close down two and sometimes three lanes of traffic leading to each of the bridges at a time, and that backed up cars all the way onto side streets so badly that people couldn't get out of their driveways.

"No one stops at the stop sign, it's a constant flow of traffic," said Al Centolla, resident.

"Could they, should they have predicted it?" Eyewitness News Reporter Jim Dolan asked.

"Absolutely they should have predicted it," said Martin Prince, a resident.

Prince lives near the Throgs Neck and they were having similar problems before two assemblymen complained to the MTA.

"They opened up all the toll booths and moved some of the construction barriers so that we had additional lanes that we had bottlenecking right up to the toll and that has made some significant improvement," Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, of the Bronx said.

"If it was so simple to solve the problem, why did it take them three weeks to do it," Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, of Queens said.

No one thinks the problem is over, but it has gotten better and traffic was flowing again on Tuesday.

"The genius who thought of doing two bridges in the same geographical area, the Throgs Neck Bridge is only a mile from here, whoever thought of that deserves a medal," Trombley said. null
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