Mackinac Bridge toll increase up for discussion

| 12/19/2002

The Mackinac Bridge Authority will hold a special board meeting Thursday to review and discuss the fate of a proposed toll hike. The board meeting will be open to the public.

A plan to raise tolls by at least $1 per axle at the Mackinac Bridge is drawing protests from communities that depend on the bridge, which is the only land link between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

Local officials and business owners are protesting the Michigan Department of Transportation's and the MBA's plans to change the toll structure at the bridge in March 2003, The Associated Press reported. The proposal is to charge commercial vehicles $3 per axle, up from $2, and passenger vehicles $2.50, up from $1.50.

Officials and business owners fear a sharp increase in tolls will run off tourist traffic in the same way that trucking traffic dropped off in 1995 after the authority raised commercial tolls.

The board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 19 at the Marriott Hotel in Troy, MI. the hotel is located at 200 W. Big Beaver Road.