Louisville-area toll bridge system to be called RiverLink

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A public hearing on toll-enforcement rules for Louisville’s RiverLink system is scheduled for Thursday, December 22 in Frankfort.  

The proposed regulations lay out how drivers can appeal toll charges on RiverLink’s three bridges – the Interstate 65 Kennedy and Lincoln spans downtown, and the new Lewis and Clark Bridge between Utica, Ind., and Prospect, Ky. Tolling is set to start on December 30.

The regulations also give Kentucky’s vehicle enforcement officers the ability to order tractor trailers with unpaid tolls to stop until they pay their bills – a provision that has alarmed the Kentucky Trucking Association.

“How are you going to enforce that, and where are you going to put folks when you put them out of service?” said Melissa Zink, the association’s communications director. “That is going to be a major issue putting trucks out of service for that particular reason.”

She said members of the trucking group plan to attend Thursday’s hearing to comment on the regulations, which are in effect through an emergency order signed by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. State officials are seeking to make them permanent.

In most cases, Zink said, trucks are placed out of service due to safety violations and not because of toll infractions.

A spokesman for the American Trucking Associations told WDRB News in October that he wasn’t aware of other states with similar rules.

In general, the proposed regulations give drivers two months to make a written protest if they disagree with a toll bill.

For now, people who believe they are charged erroneously must call RiverLink representatives and get an email address to use, said Megan McLain, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s assistant general counsel.

“You’re not going to have to ‘snail mail’ it,” she said.

RiverLink would then review the complaint and determine if the toll charge is warranted. If the toll is upheld – and the driver agrees – payment would be due 10 days later.

But a driver who disagrees with RiverLink could appeal and request a state administrative hearing at an office in the Louisville area.

Fines for unpaid tolls would not be assessed or rise during the appeals process.

A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Transportation could not immediately provide an update on Indiana's regulations.

Thursday's meeting in Frankfort is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Room C121 at the Transportation Cabinet's headquarters at 200 Mero Street.

In addition to that meeting, comments on the regulations can be submitted through December 31 to McLain by email at megan.mclain@ky.gov or by mail at Megan M. McLain, Assistant General Counsel, 200 Mero Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40622.

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