MACKINAW CITY, Mich. — Local businesses and community officials are protesting a plan to raise Mackinac Bridge tolls by at least US$1 next spring.
The Michigan Department of Transportation and the Mackinac Bridge Authority want passenger vehicle tolls increased to US$2.50 from US$1.50, and commercial vehicle tolls raised to US$3 per axle from US$2 per axle.
The increased tolls would be in effect next March.
The MBA’s executive director, Bob Sweeney, says the bridge authority is facing a budget shortfall for 2006, and needs additional revenue to keep up proper maintenance on the Mackinac Bridge, which is the only land link between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
Local officials and business owners are worried that higher tolls will result in decreased tourist traffic, just as truck traffic on the bridge dropped in 1995 when the MBA raised commercial vehicle tolls.
Public hearings on the toll-increase plan are being held Dec. 3 in Mackinaw City, and Dec. 4 in Lansing.
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