Thruway Authority to open fifth lane on Tappan Zee

Posted: Updated:

Following months of delays on the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Thruway Authority will open a fifth lane of traffic Thursday for cars heading from Rockland County into Westchester to ease congestion during the morning rush hour.

The decision comes after state Sen. Thomas Morahan (R) spoke to Thruway Authority Director Michael Fleisher and forwarded to him the complaints of motorists, many of whom are angry at extensive delays and incidents involving loose construction plates falling onto the bridge.

Sen. Morahan says he believes opening an additional lane on the bridge will provide a temporary relief, if not a long-term solution.

Critics of the plan, however, say the change will leave only two northbound lanes open, resulting in traffic delays for commuters heading toward Rockland.

Commuters who learned of the plan remain cautiously optimistic.

?As long as they take care of the construction plates that are popping up, that might be a great idea,? says Bruce Howard. ?I'll see it when I believe it.?

The fifth lane will be opened at 6:00 a.m. Thursday in time for the morning commute. If the move proves effective, the Thruway Authority says it will keep the lane open until the installation of construction plates is complete, which is expected to happen shortly before Thanksgiving.

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