Louisville commuters will face their first experience of tolls in decades starting Dec. 30, the body that oversees the new Ohio River bridges announced on Tuesday.
RiverLink, a joint authority set up by the state governments of Kentucky and Indiana, had been waiting for system testing to wrap up before formally announcing the start of tolling. “While system preparations are continuing, we’ve cleared the necessary hurdles to set a start date for tolling,” Indiana transportation official Clint Murphy told WHAS.
The long-delayed Ohio River Bridges Project, which was finally started in 2011, involved the construction of two new bridges across the river. Two new bridges, the Abraham Lincoln Bridge – located downtown next to the existing John F. Kennedy Bridge – and the East End Crossing in eastern Jefferson County, were constructed during as part of the project.
In order to finance the project, Indiana and Kentucky officials agreed to impose tolls on the Lincoln Bridge, the Kennedy Bridge and the East End Crossing – which is set to open on Dec. 18. The tolls will be collected by a mix of transponders and license plate monitoring.
More than 100,000 residents of Louisville and southern Indiana have already requested transponders, which will be scanned when a commuter crosses the bridge and then billed later. For a commuter with a transponder, tolls start at $2 for cars, trucks, and small vans for a one-way trip across the bridge.
Without a transponder, tolls will be billed via license plate records and can get steep quickly: an unregistered license plate on a large truck will be told at $15 a trip.