LAST STOP FOR TOLLBOOTHS: TINTON FALLS

Decommissioned tollbooths in a yard in Tinton Falls, as photographed by the Star-Ledger’s Robert Sciarrino. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a quirky story about what happens to all those New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway tollbooths after they’re decommissioned by E-Z Pass technology.

They’re put out to pasture in a yard near the Asbury Toll Plaza in Tinton Falls, the Sledger reports.

From the Sledger article, by Mike Franinelli:

“They call it the Tollbooth Graveyard,” said Bob Quirk, who has spent a career in and around tollbooths, first as a collector who breathed fumes and made change at Exit 14C on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1978, and now as director of tolls for the Turnpike and Parkway.

As they decide whether to hit the cash or E-ZPass express lanes, drivers wouldnÂ’t necessarily notice the resting place for tollbooths in the shadows of the busy plaza.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which oversees the Parkway and Turnpike, will one day have to figure out what to do with the highway boxes that became casualties when one-way tolling arrived on certain sections of the Parkway.

For now, similar to a dearly departed organ donor providing body parts for the still-living, tollbooths in the graveyard can be scavenged by Parkway maintenance workers for, among other useful parts, their windows and air conditioning and stainless-steel “Dutch doors” that were at the waist level of toll collectors.

In addition, some of the 32 tollbooths in the graveyard could be resurrected with new paint and parts if other toll booths on the Parkway become severely damaged.

“If, God forbid, something were to happen to the toll plaza and a whole booth went out or something, it would be easy to rig one of these up to put in,” said Tom Feeney, a spokesman for Turnpike Authority.

More here.