Officials answer your questions about Ohio River tolls - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Officials answer your questions about Ohio River tolls

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LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- After years of research, the Kentucky-Indiana Tolling Body has approved toll rates for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The initial rates for vehicles paying tolls with transponders will be $1 for frequent commuter cars, $2 for cars, $5 for box and panel trucks and $10 for tractor trailers. More detailed criteria for frequent commuters and truck classifications will be determined by the Tolling Body in future meetings.

Tolls won't start until 2016 but with the toll rates made public, many WDRB viewers had questions about the impact on your money.

WDRB took those questions to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Chuck Wolfe, Public Affairs Director for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet tells WDRB it will be all electronic tolling or "open road" tolling.

WDRB Facebook Friend Sara Smith asked: How exactly will the electronic tolls work?

"You just continue cruising on. You don't have to hit your brakes. The whole purpose of the Ohio River Bridges Project is to make it easier to get across the river," Wolfe told WDRB.

Other viewers want to know more about the transponders.

They're a device that sticks in your windshield that will be read by cameras as you cross.

But how much will they cost?

"They may be free but that remains to be decided between the two states," said Wolfe.

Another simple but frequent question WDRB received: Which bridges will be tolled?

Wolfe says the East End Crossing will have a toll. That's the one yet to be built up river from Downtown Louisville.

The Downtown Crossing, also yet to be built, will be tolled, as well as the Kennedy Bridge.

The Clark Memorial, also known as the 2nd St. Bridge and the Sherman Minton will not be tolled.

Wolfe says when the tolling first starts, he won't be surprised if drivers use the toll free bridges to avoid the fee.

WDRB Facebook friend Matt asked if the two toll-free bridges will be able to handle that extra traffic.

"The bridges have certain capacity and when they get to capacity that's what they're going to carry," Wolfe answered.

During the project, WDRB has heard from many people who think the new bridges will hurt neighborhood type businesses but Laura Wallace who owns City Concierge in Louisville's Nulu neighborhood thinks the new traffic near Downtown Louisville could be a good thing.

"I heard an off ramp will be coming onto Market Street and that's going to be huge for Nulu. We're a growing area. I think it's going to be really good for the businesses," Wallace told WDRB.

Transportation officials also say the rates aren't fixed. Drivers should expect an increase of approximately 2.5 percent every year.

Further details on specific tolls and vehicles can be found in the tolling authority news release at the top of this queue on the web: http://kyinbridges.com/downtown-crossing/news-events/

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