Opponents of a plan to pay for a new Mobile River bridge with tolls picked up an important a…
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A plan to pay for a new bridge and Bayway has generated lots of strong opinions, but figuring out how much it would cost a specific driver is complicated.
The plan calls for replacing the current Bayway with an elevated, eight-lane crossing and building a new six-lane bridge rising 215 feet above the Mobile River. Paying the state’s portion of the $2.1 billion price tag would involve tolls.
The amounts vary depending on a variety of factors. The maximum toll rate would be $6 for a one-way trip across the entire 10-mile route. But drivers getting off at various points in between the Virginia Street exit and Daphne would pay less.
For instance, a driver using only the new bridge – getting on at the Virginia Street-Interstate 10 interchange and getting off on the middle of the Causeway – would pay $3.75 toll. A map above shows what those different rates would be.
The state also has different costs for drivers who buy transponder devices connected prepaid accounts or credit cards vs. those who would be billed by the toll-by-plate electronic system.
The latter method involves taking pictures of license plates as cars pass along the route and then mailing bills to owners’ homes. But in addition to the toll rate, the plan allows for the addition of a 50 percent surcharge to be tacked on to the bill. That would make the true cost of a full one-way trip $9.
Buying a transponder – which state transportation officials say would cost between $5 and $10 – would allow drivers to avoid the surcharge and also get a 15 percent discount beginning with the fifth crossing each month.
Finally, the state is pitching a $90 monthly pass that would give drivers unlimited access.
That’s a lot of options and moving parts. You can use this online calculator that FOX10 News built to sort out your personal situation. Just remember that each crossing is a one-way trip. So if you commute to work across the bay 20 times in a month, that would be 40 one-way crossings. The calculations are for passenger vehicles not pulling trailers. Cars with trailers and bigger vehicles like trucks and buses would pay higher rates.