Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Proposed bridge fees go into effect this month

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The toll fees for accessing the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge will go into effect this month. Many residents were expecting to show their pre-paid pass this morning, November 1st, when the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) first indicated this would be the effective date. However, the date has changed to November 15th, when personnel from the traffic department will be stationed at the bridge. Motorists who need to pay the toll to use the bridge can purchase pre-paid passes at the traffic department at the SPTC anytime between 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday.

The SPTC is finishing a booth next to the bridge, from where the toll will be monitored. This is the third time that the SPTC has announced a set of rates for using the bridge. In the two previous times, residents voiced their concerns about inflated prices, and SPTC revised the fees in response.

The fees now apply as per the graphic below. Most consider the rates reasonable and a couple of motorists, including taxi drivers, indicated that paying a daily fee instead of the monthly one is better, considering some do not cross the bridge daily. They appreciate that the local authorities worked with the people and did not enforce the previous rates. According to them, those were too high and would hurt everyone’s business instead of improving the current economic situation affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of collecting toll fees is to keep the current bridge in good condition. According to the SPTC, the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge has deteriorated for a long time. The local administration says that the toll fees collected will fund bridge maintenance and help build a second bridge to accommodate larger vehicles.

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