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Archive for Saturday, June 30, 2007

Turnpike tolls increase this weekend

June 30, 2007

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Turnpike raises toll

Driving on the Kansas Turnpike will take more of a toll on your wallet starting July 1st. Enlarge video

A drive along the Kansas Turnpike is about to become more expensive.

On Sunday, the fees for most turnpike trips will increase by 5 percent, but some will be as much as 10 percent.

The toll increase is expected to generate an additional $3.8 million in annual revenue for the Kansas Turnpike Authority, which has an operating budget of about $39 million.

Lisa Callahan, a KTA spokeswoman, said the toll increase is needed to keep pace with escalating costs and to help finance big-ticket items such as the planned rebuilding of two turnpike bridges that cross the Kansas River between the North Lawrence and west Lawrence interchanges.

The project calls for construction of two three-lane, 2,300-foot bridges; realigned approach ramps and acceleration lanes to and from the east and west Lawrence toll plazas; and an additional entry and exit lane at the east Lawrence interchange.

Bridge construction is scheduled to start in May 2008 and last until 2011, said Michael Johnston, KTA president and chief executive officer, in a press release.

The bridge that carries North Michigan Street over the Kansas Turnpike that closed last month for reconstruction won't reopen for six to seven more months. When the Michigan Street project is complete, the North Iowa Street bridge will close for reconstruction for six to eight months.

Starting in May 2008, there will be no westbound access to and from the west Lawrence interchange for eight months. After that is finished, the east Lawrence interchange will be closed for eight months.

The project is expected to cost about $140 million - about what it cost to construct the entire 236-mile-long turnpike in the mid-1950s.

The toll increases are not across-the-board. Depending on where they enter and where they exit, some Lawrence motorists may not see an increase at all. Here's a look at some routes:

¢ From the Lecompton interchange to the east Topeka interchange, tolls will remain 70 cents.

¢ From the Lecompton interchange to the south Topeka interchange, tolls will increase 5 cents, to 90 cents.

¢ From the west Lawrence interchange to the east Topeka interchange, tolls will remain at 85 cents.

¢ From the west Lawrence interchange to the south Topeka interchange, tolls will increase 10 cents, to $1.10.

¢ From the west Lawrence interchange to the terminal near Bonner Springs, tolls will increase 5 cents, to $1.45.

¢ From the east Lawrence interchange to the east Topeka interchange, tolls will remain at $1.

¢ From the east Lawrence interchange to the south Topeka interchange, tolls will increase 5 cents, to $1.20.

¢ From the east Lawrence interchange to the terminal near Bonner Springs, tolls will increase 5 cents, to $1.40.

For more information and specifics on the toll increases, visit the KTA Web site at www.ksturnpike.com.

Comments

Wilbur_Nether 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, average, don't ask us that question--send an e-mail to the KTA and ask them!

And, lounger, the alternative would be to turn over the turnpike to KDOT and the costs of maintaining it distributed among all taxpayers. If memory serves, KDOT is restricted by Statute as to the number of miles of road it may have--meaning if we turned the turnpike over to KDOT, they would have to abandon State highways someplace else.

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oldgoof 6 years, 9 months ago

Lounger posts @ 1:16: "This toll was eventually supposed to be abolished" . . . This is an oft-repeated myth. Those knowledgeable about the history of the turnpike totally disagree.

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lounger 6 years, 9 months ago

This toll was eventually supposed to be abolished-now its a money maker and will be here forevermore....

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average 6 years, 9 months ago

I still cannot for the life of me figure out why they'd double the traffic at the already highly inadequate East Lawrence booth for 8 months, then knock it down and build a multi-lane booth. The other order would seem slightly less horrible.

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ljreader 6 years, 9 months ago

Judging from other articles in today's news, I was pretty sure that I'd read in this one that experts blame the soaring cost of turnpike tolls on lack of immigrants.

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erod0723 6 years, 9 months ago

What will discourage tourism is the closing of a major artery into Lawrence. Good job KDOT and KTA at screwing us over once again.

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nbnozzy 6 years, 9 months ago

I doubt a five or ten cent increase in tolls will discourage tourism. Your solution to the cost of rebuilding bridges??

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