Ohio River Bridges Project unveils new tolling system: RiverLink - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Ohio River Bridges Project unveils new tolling system: RiverLink

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – As the Ohio River Bridges Project nears completion that only means one thing, tolls are coming soon.

Three bridges will require a toll to cross. No matter how you decide to pay all tolls will be collected electronically, meaning there will be no stopping or slowing down.

Even though the new Downtown Crossing will open to traffic in December, tolls will not be collected until late 2016.

The Ohio River Bridges Project is massive. At the end of the day the price tag is $2.3 billion.

[MORE: Building the Bridges]

“Without a toll system in place to help us pay for our new bridges, such benefits and progress though simply would not be possible,” Ohio River Bridges Project spokesperson Mindy Peterson said Tuesday.

The new Downtown Crossing and the Kennedy Bridge, both carrying Interstate 65 traffic and the East End Bridge for Interstate 265 will require a toll.

“This is really about choice and one choice commuters will now have will be a tolled bridge, but there are other choices available, if traveling on the toll bridge doesn't make sense for you,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Innovative Finance Manager David Talley said.

The Sherman Minton (I-64) and Clark Memorial Bridge will remain toll-free. Tuesday, KYTC and INDOT unveiled the brand new tolling system, RiverLink.

“Just as Peach Pass conveys Georgia Peach and Sun Pass conveys the fact that you go down to Florida for a sunny vacation, RiverLink is unique to our area and it gives a nod to the river,” Talley said.

Drivers are encouraged to get a transponder. This will be the most cost effective method whether you plan on crossing once a year or once an hour.

There are two pre-paid transponders to choose from, one is for local use only. It's about the size of a band-aid and can't be moved. These are free from the state.

Another option is an E-Zpass, which is accepted by 15 states. It can be moved from vehicle to vehicle and the proposed onetime cost is $15.

Tolls with a transponder will cost $1 across for non commercial vehicles. “It will make the way to pay your tolls easier for taxpayers and for drivers, so we strongly urge that this will become the best way to initiate our toll process,” INDOT Deputy Commissioner of Innovative Project Delivery Jim Stark said.

If you don't have a transponder or register your vehicle online, it will cost you $4 to cross and an invoice will be mailed to you after your license plate is photographed.

“If they do not pay that invoice, they will be sent a reminder with a fee associated and eventually they will receive a violation notice,” Talley said. “For Indiana and Kentucky residents, if eventually that is not satisfied, states will have the option of withholding vehicle registration for those customers.”

The last time Kentuckiana saw tolling was on the Clark Memorial Bridge in the mid 1940s. Back then it cost drivers $0.35 to cross, which equals to about $5 today.

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