Nova Scotia

Bridge toll could cost quarter more

It might cost more next year to cross the two Halifax harbour bridges.

Need money for major projects

It might cost more next year to cross the two Halifax harbour bridges.

The Halifax Harbour Bridges commission is looking for a 25-cent hike to the bridge toll, which now stands at 75 cents per trip.

Steve Snider, commission CEO, said there are some major projects on the horizon, and money is needed to pay for them. He said the toll hasn't increased since 1992.

"Over the next five years, we're expecting that we'll have an additional $150 million to $170 million in other capital projects we have to carry out," he said Friday.

"So, with all that coming down the tubes, we have to take a look at what our source of funding will be for these projects and, the obvious one — I mean as a toll facility, all of our revenue does come from the toll — so that's what we're looking at and talking about."

Every year, 33 million trips are recorded over both the Angus L. Macdonald and the A. Murray MacKay bridges. An extra 25 cents per trip could bring in $8 million.

The bridge commission still has to apply to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board for permission to hike the tolls. MAC passes would also go up by 60 or 80 cents per month.

Any increase won't go into effect until 2011, Snider said.

He added that a recent survey conducted by the bridge commission found 76 per cent of those polled didn't object to a 25-cent increase in tolls.