Toll Booths Get Makeover In MTA Blue

The newly repainted Queens Midtown Tunnel toll plaza, done up in MTA blue

Toll booth getting interior and exterior washing prior to painting

Fish-eye lens view inside a containment area at Queens Midtown Tunnel

Toll booth repainted in MTA blue

Taking a page from the past, 150 toll booths at all nine MTA crossings will once again be a uniform color, MTA blue.

The actual color is called "safety blue" but it also coincides closely with the color of the MTA logo.

The toll booths and their surrounding concrete islands, curbs, and bullnoses have not been painted since 2001. "Reverting back to the original blue we once used will help uniformly identify our plazas as being MTA Bridges and Tunnels' facilities, and it will also help us save money in the procurement of paint," said Bridges and Tunnels Chief Maintenance Officer Patrick Parisi.

The last time the booths were painted, each crossing picked its own color. The result was a rainbow that included yellow (Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and Bronx-Whitestone), orange (Throgs Neck, Queens Midtown Tunnel), turquoise (Verrazano-Narrows) and even a unique mixture of banana yellow, blue and mint green (Henry Hudson).

More than aesthetics, repainting the booths is necessary to keep them in a state of good repair since some are exposed daily to harsh sea and salt air climate that can corrode steel.

It takes two or three nights to clean, sand and repaint each toll booth both inside and out. A total of about 1,200 gallons of paint will be used. The work, awarded to L&L Painting Co., of Hicksville, N.Y., is being done off-peak during overnight hours to minimize disruption to traffic.

The $4.5 million paint project also includes work on 60 giant 20-by-11 foot tall vent fans at the Brooklyn-Battery and Queens Midtown Tunnel vent buildings, two garages and an auto shop. It is expected to be finished by December.