Lancaster County residents may face new tolls on major state-maintained bridges in 2021.
The state Department of Transportation plans to develop and release in the first quarter of the new year its first list of bridges across the state to be tolled under the new program. Toll rates have yet to be determined and will be set on a case-by-case basis, a spokeswoman said.
The new program, approved Thursday by the Pennsylvania Public Private Transportation Partnership Board, allows PennDOT to toll large bridges that are a high priority for work. Maintenance of the bridges will be turned over to private companies that are paid from the toll fees.
The board was created by the Legislature to foster private-public partnerships, and because of that PennDOT believes the plan does not require approval by the Legislature.
For the purpose of this program, PennDOT defines major bridges "as structures of significance based on physical size, location and cost to replace or rehabilitate," PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell wrote in an email responding to questions from LNP | LancasterOnline. "These structures are in a condition that warrants timely attention to enhance safety and to avoid disruptions and community impacts if closure or weight restriction were imposed," Campbell wrote.