Local motorists seemed unfazed to find tollbooths had been erected on both sides of the Bridge Lane bridge on Monday morning. Local press just reported the sale of the bridge—located, appropriately, in Bridgehampton—this week from Southampton Township to Sagaponack Village for $1, so some residents may have anticipated the change.
These blasé motorists were all charged $4 to cross the bridge in either direction, and they apparently paid without complaint. In fact, nobody reported the tollbooths or complained to the authorities at all.
At 3 p.m. on Monday, a Hamptons Police officer noticed the booths as he traveled along Bridge Lane during the course of his duties, and he stopped to investigate.
After a few probing phone calls and a brief interview with one toll collector—the other immediately bolted from the scene—the officer learned that Mervyn Zuschlag and accomplices unknown had quietly put the booths in place overnight.
By the time the con was shut down, Zuschlag had amassed a small fortune.
Police say Sagaponack officials have no plans to collect tolls at their newly acquired bridge.