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Overdrive Staff | November 01, 2011

The complaint in federal court in Manhattan claims the higher tolls violate a federal law that requires interstate tolls be set at “just and reasonable” rates, AAA says.

Toll increases began Sept. 18 on the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, and the George Washington, Bayonne and Goethals bridges.

The Port Authority says the suit “is without merit.”

Toll for E-ZPass customers during peak hours rose from $40 to $50 for a five-axle truck and will rise by another $2 an axle each December in 2012 through 2015. Cash customers pay a $3 per-axle fine. Tolls apply to eastbound crossings.

The current E-ZPass off-peak fee is $35 and the overnight fee is $27.50.

— Staff reports



HIGHWAY HAPPENINGS

ARIZONA. Paving of Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff from mile post 218 to 225 is scheduled to continue until mid-November, the state Department of Transportation said. Work runs from sunrise to sunset Monday through Friday.

FLORIDA. Tolls on all state toll roads and bridges will increase in 2012 as the state Department of Transportation implements an indexing of toll rates. The 2007 legislature mandated an inflation index every one to five years. A five-axle truck will pay $11 if using SunPass on the Everglades Parkway (Alligator Alley) in South Florida. The cash or toll-by-plate rate will go to $12. Additional axles will cost $2.75 under SunPass and $3 for cash.

IOWA. Closed by Missouri River flooding since June 15, Interstate 29 has reopened from Rock Port, Mo., at exit 110 to U.S. 34 exit 32 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. Exit 1, Iowa 333 to Hamburg, and exit 10, Iowa 2 to Nebraska City, remain closed to repair both roads.

LOUISIANA. Heavy trucks using I-10 are rerouted to the I-210 loop around Lake Charles until repair work is completed on the Calcasieu River Bridge in 2012. Truckers are encouraged to use the I-210 bridge under normal conditions because it carries less traffic and the approach is less steep. 

MAINE. Speed limits along Interstate 95 north of Bangor have been increased from 65 mph to 75 mph. The new limit is the highest legal speed east of the Mississippi River.

MARYLAND. Tolls on Baltimore Harbor bridges and tunnels will be increasing the next two years following action by the Maryland Transportation Authority. The increases will be in two steps, Jan. 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013. Cash rates for 5-axle vehicles on the JFK Highway (I-95) and the Hatem Memorial Bridge will go from $30 to $36 on Jan. 1 and to $48 on July 1, 2013. For the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95 and I-395), Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) and Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the cash toll for 5-axle trucks increases from $12 to $18 on Jan. 1 and $24 on July 1, 2013. For the Harry W. Nice Bridge (U.S. 301) and William Preston Lane (Bay) Bridge (U.S. 50 and U.S. 301), the cash rate rises from $15 to $36 by 2013.

MICHIGAN. A new law aligns the state’s commercial driver’s licensing rules with federal regulations. Fines for first offenders of out-of-service violators are set at $2,500, with repeat offenses set at $5,000 each. Carriers convicted of authorizing a driver with OOS status to get behind the wheel face fines of up to $25,000.

MISSOURI. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $2 million in emergency funds for repairs to roads and bridges damaged by summer floods.

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