Atlantic Beach residents want to know where Atlantic Beach Bridge toll money is going

Specifically, drivers want greater transparency about where the toll money collected from the Atlantic Beach Bridge is going.

Jon Dowding

Mar 21, 2024, 12:49 AM

Updated 120 days ago

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Atlantic Beach residents called for greater transparency during a meeting of the Nassau County Bridge Authority.
Specifically, drivers want greater transparency about where the toll money collected from the Atlantic Beach Bridge is going.
News 12 previously reported that the NCBA did away with decals for people who frequently cross the bridge and rolled out E-ZPass. There’s a $4 cash option for passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles and other larger vehicles have higher tolls to cross the bridge.
Residents previously spoke out to News 12 saying they’ve had issues with E-ZPass and have had to pay the cash option often because they say the machines reading the E-ZPass glitch and don’t collect the payment.
Beth Garnett organized two petitions, one calling for transparency of the NCBA finances and the other calling for the NCBA to rescind the toll hikes for the bridge.
"If they feel that that toll hike was so desperately needed, they need to make it very specifically clear to us in a board meeting or a public hearing or conference because it's not fair,” she said. “People are struggling."
Residents say they're now getting charged more for services - from businesses like electricians, contractors, or other deliveries - because commercial companies are now passing the cost of the toll onto customers.
Amil Virani discovered in 2022 that the NCBA previously violated Open Meeting laws by not posting content online they're required to post by law.
He says even though changes have been made for the authority to be compliant with open meeting laws, the NCBA still has work to do.
"The bridge is not being transparent in posting what they're going to do, how the money is going to pay for it,” said Virani. “It leads to the confusion that people are having that why do we have this toll increase to begin with, right? It's not properly being explained to people."
News 12 spoke off camera with the executive director of the NCBA. He didn't have time for an interview before the meeting, but is working on getting an official statement to News 12 addressing concerns from residents.


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