Mackinac Bridge fares raised

| Friday, December 20, 2002

The Mackinac Bridge Authority voted Dec. 19 to increase the cost of crossing the bridge, the only land link between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas.

On May 1, fares for large trucks will rise by $1 to $3 per axle. Passenger vehicles and two-axle trucks will cough up $2.50, up from $1.50. Motor homes will pay $2 per axle.

The rate for commuters, $1.25 one way, will increase to $1.50.

Bridge officials say the fares will bring in an additional $16 million a year. The money will go toward maintenance.

The plan to raise tolls on the five-mile span has drawn protests from communities that depend on the bridge.

Local officials and business owners fear that 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.

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