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March 20, 2013

Consultants: $1 tolls likely for frequent users

Final tolls not set; process would be electronic

(Continued)

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Both states have committed to use all-electronic tolling, in which users of the bridges can pay tolls via a vehicle-mounted electronic transponder that sends a signal to the tolling devices that debits the cost from an established account or a high-resolution video that captures images of a vehicle’s license plate and then sends bills to the bridge users.

A final traffic and revenue study is expected in about a month, a necessary step in advance of bond sales this spring, according to the release.

Both crossings are being financed by a combination of tax dollars and toll revenues.

Kentucky is following a traditional model with portions of the costs built into the state’s transportation budget over 6 years, in addition to the sale of $236 million of GARVEE bonds, with the shortfall to be covered in tolling revenues. Indiana is following a public-private partnership model where the state will pay for the project through money dedicated through Indiana’s Department of Transportation at $54 million per year, for eight years, totaling $432 million with the remainder to be covered through tolls.  

Tolling on the two new bridges and the Kennedy Bridge is scheduled to begin when the east-end bridge opens in October 2016. The completion date for the downtown portion of the bridges has been set for December 2016.

Even if there is a delay in construction, tolling on the existing Kennedy Bridge will start no later than June 20, 2018.

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