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Bridge to go cashless, removing the site of the infamous traffic jam

The busy George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey and New York is moving to cashless tolls and in doing so removes a reminder of a notorious piece of history.

From July 10, motorists paying cash tolls will have their license plate scanned and will be billed by post. As part of the transformation, toll booths and islands will be demolished.

Toll booths on the upper level of the bridge were at the center of the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal when political operatives realigned traffic lanes to create traffic jams near the bridge in order to punish a local mayor who did not support the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie.

Christie was not charged, but two former aides were convicted in federal court and one pleaded guilty. Their convictions were later overturned by the United States Supreme Court.

The bridge is the busiest of the crossings operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and handled about 49 million eastbound vehicles last year. In addition to serving as an entry point for commuters to New York City, it carries millions of vehicles traveling on Interstate 95 each year.

Cashless tolling is already in place at the Staten Island Authority’s three bridges and the Holland Tunnel, and is expected to be introduced at the Lincoln Tunnel later this year.

Because scanners cannot reliably determine the number of passengers in a vehicle, rideshare discounts at the George Washington Bridge will be removed, according to the port authority.