RiverLink: 81k daily crossings during first week of Ohio River b - WDRB 41 Louisville News

RiverLink: 81k daily crossings during first week of Ohio River bridge tolls

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – During the first three weekdays of tolling on the RiverLink bridges, an average of more than 81,000 cars and trucks used the Ohio River toll crossings, according to figures released Friday.

The traffic counts, which include Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, reflect at least two days of routine use on the Kennedy, Lincoln and Lewis and Clark spans after tolling started Friday, December 30.

Some schools and other services were closed or delayed in Louisville and Southern Indiana on Thursday after up to three inches of snow fell in the region. Nearly 75,000 vehicles crossed the three toll bridges that day – the lightest volume of the week, RiverLink said in a news release.

Roughly 110,000 vehicles are expected to use the bridges each day in 2018, according to consultants’ estimates. Kentucky and Indiana plan to use toll revenue – ranging from $2 to $12 per crossing – to pay off construction debt on the $2.3 billion project, which includes the new Interstate 65 Lincoln Bridge, a renovated Kennedy Bridge and the new Lewis and Clark Bridge between Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky.

Drivers with windshield-mounted transponders pay the lowest rates. On average, slightly more than half of the vehicles that crossed the toll bridges from Tuesday through Thursday had transponders that were read by scanners.

By 2018, consultants have projected, 65 percent of all crossings on the toll bridges will involve transponders.

“It’s encouraging to already see more than 50 percent of drivers with transponders in their vehicles during the opening days of tolling, and to see that number climbing each day,” Clint Murphy, director of tolling oversight for the Indiana Department of Transportation, said in the release.

There is an “extremely limited” number of RiverLink transponders available at two customer service centers -- at 400 E. Main St. near Louisville Slugger Field, and at Quartermaster Station along 10th Street in Jeffersonville, Ind.

By next week, the RiverLink transponders that work only on the Louisville-area toll bridges are likely to run out; officials say an additional order is expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

In all, more than 150,000 RiverLink transponders and about 35,000 RiverLink EZ-Pass devices that also work in 16 states in the eastern U.S. have been requested, according to RiverLink.

RELATED: Questions and answers about RiverLink

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