Halifax Harbour Bridges is looking into whether the toll booth system on the A. Murray MacKay Bridge should be redesigned before the aging asphalt is replaced.
Steve Snider, the general manager and CEO of Halifax Harbour Bridges, said consultants will be asked to figure out any possible changes to make the tolling system safer and more efficient.
"We're asking the consultant to take a look at the three options. The current approach, express lanes or going cashless," he told CBC News.
"This study is meant to take a forward look at what our opportunities are."
The MacKay Bridge opened in 1970 and the plaza area just before the toll booths has had very little work done over the years.
Snider said one scenario is to continue with cash and electronic tolling and simply rearrange the toll booths. Lanes for trucks and MACPASS users would be in the centre and drivers using cash would be in the outside lanes.
The second option is to use express lanes.
"That means that you've got a segment of the toll plaza where there's no gates, there's no toll islands, it's just open roads," said Snider.
"There's a gantry overhead and you process the transactions and for those who don't have a transponder, you capture an image of their licence plate and you eventually send them a bill."
Halifax Harbour Bridges could also do what many bridges and toll highways across Canada and the United States have done — go cashless.
"A large number of toll agencies in the United States and globally are looking at eliminating cash as a form of payment," said Snider.
"The cost to build the infrastructure and to maintain the infrastructure is fairly significant and some savings related to going just cashless are such that organizations are going that way."
Any high-tech system will likely need new provincial regulations and approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
Snider said this project will not overlap with the redecking plans for the Macdonald Bridge, which will start in 2015 and last 18 months.
The consultants' review is set to take place next year.