Delaware Route 1 Tolls to Increase - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Route 1 Tolls to Increase

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DOVER, Del.- Drivers on Delaware’s Route 1 will soon have to dig a little deeper into their pockets. State Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt announced Thursday the state will raise the costs of some tolls on Route 1.

Currently, it costs $2 to go through the toll plazas in Dover and just north of Middletown. That amount is going to increase to $3.

For drivers like Greg Jackson of Dover, Route 1 is a major roadway. He says he was surprised to hear about the increase.

“I don’t feel great about it,” said Jackson. “I wish something that there was something as a voter and as a taxpayer could do something about it but I guess I’ll have to pay it.”

This winter, Governor Jack Markell and State Transportation Officials announced they would seek an increase in the state’s gas tax. But that proposal never went anywhere.

Now tolls are going up.

“The bottom line is that money is needed for roads and bridges,” said Bhatt. “If people want good roads the price has to be paid and that’s a part of paying that price.”

Bhatt says the revenue will go towards road maintenance.

“Look I understand that some people may be upset by the fact that the tolls are going to go up,” said Bhatt. “But the bottom line is that it was a dialogue between elected representatives. The proposal was for a gas tax increase. This is a smaller increase.”

A smaller increase but an increase large enough to upset drivers.

“I think what I’m going to start doing is start using 13 more. And stay off the tolls,” said Joseph Jones of Dover.

Others believe the increase will mostly affect those living in the area.

“I thought that was a bummer because you have locals who want to leave the area and the only time they can do so is on the weekends,” said Les Berry of Dover. “Even though they say it’s for travelers coming into the state, it’s hurting us as well.”

Whether a local or a visitor, a lot of weekend drivers on Route 1 will soon have to pay more.

There is no time frame yet for when the tolls will increase.

The weekday tolls will remain at $1 and the tolls charged at on and off ramps will remain unchanged.

Bhatt also says his agency will increase borrowing by $20 million next year to pay for road maintenance and repairs.

 

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