Motorists who use MTA Bridges and Tunnels seven bridges and two tunnels should begin seeing brand new trailblazer signs along major roadways and entrances at each facility.
"We are in the process of replacing 800 of these signature signs, some of which are decades–old, worn and extremely faded, with sharp, modern–looking signs," said Patrick Sbano, Manager of Bridges and Tunnels' Traffic, Safety and Engineering division, noting that most of the trailblazers are within three miles of the crossings.
The new, green trailblazer signs include the "E–ZPass Accepted" message and are constructed in accordance with national standards for traffic control signs.
Each bridge and tunnel had a slightly different design on its trailblazer; most dating back to their original opening some 40 to 70 years ago. Some are simple triangles with the name of the facility while others are a bit more distinctive.
The Henry Hudson trailblazer has the name of the bridge with a half moon inside a triangle, in tribute to explorer Henry Hudson's ship which was named the Half Moon. The Queens Midtown Tunnel design includes a two–tone yellow and black circle, and the Verrazano–Narrows trailblazer includes a profile of North America's longest suspension bridge and the Narrows Bay.
Although the new signs are now green and include the familiar purple E–ZPass logo, fans of the old trailblazer signs need not worry. Sbano said maintenance workers in the Bridges and Tunnels Sign Shop, where all of the new signs are being made in–house, have gone out of their way to incorporate the original designs.
"It is a true melding of the old and new," Sbano said, "but in the end the goal is to provide, clear and concise directions to the millions of motorists who use our facilities."
MTA Bridges and Tunnels' facilities, which connect the five boroughs of New York City, are the Triborough, Throgs Neck, Bronx–Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Verrazano–Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn–Battery Tunnels.
Caption: Side by side look at original trailblazer signs from the Henry Hudson and Verrazano–Narrows bridges and the new version, which incorporates the original design.