Average driver could pay as much as $4 to cross Ohio River - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Average driver could pay as much as $4 to cross Ohio River

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Some drivers who travel between Kentucky and Indiana from Louisville may soon have to pay as much as $4 each way.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has released the dollar amounts for tolls as well as a firm date for when they'll take effect.

KYTC Secretary Mike Hancock said Friday, "Our concern is that when you have a long-term project such as this, even a small rise in interest rates can mean big dollars over the long term."

Friday, the Kentucky Transportation Infrastructure Authority was presented with a study that essentially crunched the numbers to determine how much revenue will be generated by tolls and whether that dollar amount is enough.

Tolls are needed to fill the gap to pay for the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.  Tolls will cover the costs not covered by traditional highway funding and a federal grant.

Here's the breakdown of the tolls for the average driver:

Frequent commuters will be provided with a free transponder to place in their car. A prepaid account will be set up and $1 will be withdrawn from the account every time the car crosses a tolled bridge.

The transportation cabinet is defining a frequent commuter as someone who crosses the bridge 20 times or 40 times both ways each month.

Drivers who cross less than that will be considered casual commuters, and will be charged $2 each way if they choose to have a transponder installed and a prepaid account set up. Drivers who decline the transponder but register their cars will pay $3 each way, and a video camera will take a snapshot of the car's license plate and a bill will be sent to the car's registered owner.

Drivers who don't register their cars will pay $4 each time their license plate is photographed and a bill is sent.

The rates will be formally approved on Sept. 4.

The consulting firm that presented the study looked at things such as how many drivers will choose to take a longer route to pay a toll, and how that will effect the bottom line.

Transportation officials also tell us that these rates aren't fixed. Drivers should expect an increase of approximately 2.5 percent every year.

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