Three Kentucky bridges may incorporate electronic tolling

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 10/9/2015

Three bridges in Kentucky may have tolls in the future. During an interim joint committee on transportation meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6, innovative finance manager David Talley discussed a proposal for an electronic tolling project.

In the proposal, Talley noted that three bridges will have E-ZPass tolls: Louisville Downtown Bridge on Interstate 65, Kennedy Bridge on I-65, and the East End Bridge on Interstate 265. All other bridges will remain toll-free.

Heavy trucks with the prepaid transponder will pay $10. Those with a prepaid account but that do not have transponder will pay $11. Trucks with neither a transponder nor a prepaid account will be sent a bill of $12 for each trip through the use of photographed license plates.

E-ZPass transponders will cost less than $20, according to the proposal. Local transponders will be free. Standard E-ZPass procedures still apply for reloading the prepaid account.

Talley noted that electronic tolling means that cash will not be accepted at the Louisville bridges. Either prepaid accounts will be charged or an invoice will be mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.

A bi-state body consisting of three Kentucky members and three Indiana members will be the only entity allowed to change toll rates.

During the meeting, Rep. Tom McKee (D-Cynthiana) wanted to ensure that tolled bridges would be clearly marked, allowing motorists to be warned before the toll change. More skeptical, Rep. Steve Riggs (D-Louisville) was concerned about the electronic tolling system, pointing out that the total bill may increase after fees are included.

Business rules will be finalized in November, and a public information campaign will commence sometime in December.

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