Drivers react to increase in tolls on PA Turnpike

Drivers react to increase in tolls on PA Turnpike

(WYTV) – Tolls went up six percent on Sunday for those travelling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It now costs 40 more cents to cross the Ohio-PA border.

“We are building an all-new, six-lane roadway, removing the old pavement from the ground up,” said Carl Defebo, spokesman for the PA Turnpike Commission. “These types of projects cost upwards of $25 million per mile.”

The entire turnpike is 550 miles, meaning it will end up costing drivers a lot of money.

This isn’t the first time they’ve seen rising prices. In 2011, the toll was $4.30. It went up 45 cents in 2012 and by 2013, it cost $5.25. The biggest increase was in 2014 by 65 cents, putting the total at $5.90. Just last year, it was $6.20 to enter PA.

“Our customers should know that their money is being reinvested on the Pennsylvania Turnpike system, as well as off the PA Turnpike system,” Defebo said.

That system also provides funds for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Chip Bialzak of Michigan says he has considered flying instead because tolls can be so expensive. He always carries extra cash when travelling.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the tolls increase every time we came east,” he said.

Even though many are shocked by how much the tolls have gone up, they understand that the money has to come from somewhere.

“I mean, they need to keep up on the roads and bridges in order to have safe travels back and forth between the border,” said Eric Johnson of Cleveland.

“It is what it is…The construction and repairs on the road is what it’s being used for and I don’t have a problem with that,” said Richard Keenan of Michigan.

This increase won’t be the last one; tolls are expected to go up from anywhere between three and five percent each year until 2044.

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