Baltimore tolls to rise

Tolls on Baltimore Harbor bridges and tunnels will be increasing the next two years following action Sept. 22 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 (U.S. 40) 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 the current $15 to $36 by 2013.

The MDTA board said it projects the plan will generate $90 million in the first full year to pay down debt and for construction of additional highway capacity in the region.