Category Archives: Turnpikes and Toll Roads

Turnpike and toll road news for all states

‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Irma Threatens Florida East Coast

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:26 p.m., Wednesday, September 6, in order to reflect the latest forecast and evacuation data.

Mandatory Evacuations Ordered For Coastal Residents

Hurricane Irma forecast track.

The projected track of Hurricane Irma, as issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 p.m. Wednesday. Graphic: NOAA.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Hurricane Irma now threatens the Florida east coast, according to the National Hurricane Center, and forecasters announced they would likely begin issuing hurricane watches for the Florida peninsula on Thursday. The system will impact South Florida, and  Florida’s Turnpike, by as early as Friday evening, and to forecasters say the massive category 5 storm could inflict ‘catastrophic’ wind and rain damage to affected areas into early next week.

The storm moved over the eastern Leeward Islands overnight Wednesday morning, making landfall on the British Virgin Islands, and dealing a blow to Puerto Rico, shortly thereafter. The storm is expected to continue to barrel its way on a west-northwesterly trek through the Caribbean through the next two to three days.

Hurricane Irma's projected wind field

The forecast wind field impact timeline for Hurricane Irma, through Sunday. Whether the storm remains off shore or strikes the peninsula, it will have a significant impact on South Florida, forecasters say. Graphic: NOAA.

The problem for Florida comes this weekend, and particularly Sunday evening into Monday morning, when the storm is expected to slip to the west of a high pressure ridge, allowing Irma to turn to the north. Forecasters do not have a firm handle on precisely where the turn will happen. If Irma turns sooner, rather than later, the eye wall would remain offshore of Florida’s peninsula. However, the massive storm, which has winds extending out 175 miles from its center, is expected to impact Florida’s east coast, whether off shore or not. That means regardless of whether the storm makes landfall, its impact will be unavoidable.

Evacuations Ordered For Florida Keys And Florida Peninsula

That forecast, and the storm’s potential for a life-threatening impact, have forced officials across South Florida to issue mandatory evacuation orders. Visitors in the Florida Keys were ordered to evacuate beginning Wednesday morning, and residents went under a mandatory evacuation Wednesday night.

Residents of low-lying and flood-prone areas of Broward County, which includes areas of Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale’s beaches, also are under a mandatory evacuation order beginning Thursday. Miami-Dade County issued evacuation orders later on Wednesday for much of its barrier islands, which includes Miami Beach.

Tolls Suspended On Florida Roads As Evacuation Traffic Builds

Meanwhile, tolls were suspended Tuesday afternoon for all Florida toll roads and bridges. Governor Rick Scott issued the order around 3:30 p.m., saying the move was necessary to help residents and visitors easily evacuate if necessary.

The Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike, which runs through Miami-Dade County, was already showing heavy traffic at its south end, in Florida City and Homestead, where residents and visitors fleeing the Florida Keys will connect with the roadway to evacuate.

Chad Huff, spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation, said officials had not made a decision to change the traffic pattern on the turnpike, although that contingency does exist to aid evacuation. However, he could offer no timeline on when any decision to change the traffic flow would be made.

Hurricane Irma Forces Florida Evacuations

Tolls Suspended Across Florida’s Turnpike, Other Toll Roads

Fort Lauderdale – Tolls on Florida’s Turnpike, and all toll roads in the Sunshine State, have been suspended as Hurricane Irma makes its approach through the Caribbean. Governor Rick Scott made the announcement mid-afternoon Tuesday, saying the suspension of tolls will make it easier for Floridians and visitors to “more easily be able to prepare for any potential storm impacts … and quickly and safely evacuate when necessary.”

Pompano Service Plaza gas station

Workers at service plaza gas stations in South Florida, including the Shell at the Pompano Beach Plaza, pictured here in a 2016 file photo, reported plenty of fuel available, with no expected interruption in the delivery of new supplies.

Hurricane Irma has blown up into a super hurricane, with winds of 185 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center in MIami. That makes Irma the second-most powerful storm in history, only behind Hurricane Allen, which struck the Caribbean in 1980. At one point, Allen had winds of 190 miles per hour.

Hurricane Irma forecast track

Hurricane Irma’s forecast track, from the National Hurricane Center, issued at 5 p.m. on September 5.

For its part, Hurricane Irma is due to strike the northern Leeward Islands, east of Puerto Rico, tonight, and Puerto Rico, itself, on Wednesday. South Florida and the Florida Keys are currently in the forecast “cone”, or the projected path of the storm, which includes a margin of error. But Key West currently has a target on it, as the NHC forecast takes the storm’s path nearly directly over the island by Sunday.

Evacuation Orders Planned Wednesday In South Florida

That forecast track has forced officials set planned mandatory evacuations of the Keys beginning on Wednesday for visitors and residents, although the precise time of Wednesday’s expected evacuation order had not been determined.

Government offices in Miami-Dade County, along with schools, will be closed on Thursday and Friday so residents may prepare for the storm or evacuate. All school and park activities were also suspended. However, county officials had not yet issued any evacuation orders.

In Broward County and Fort Lauderdale, location of the home office of TurnpikeInfo.com, government emergency operations centers were activated, but no evacuation orders had yet been issued as of Tuesday evening.

Elsewhere, traffic on Florida’s Turnpike appeared light in most areas, and gas stations at service plazas in South Florida reported fuel available at both the Snapper Creek Service Plaza in Miami-Dade and the Pompano Beach Service Plaza in Broward County.

Florida’s Turnpike Opens New Interchange

Minneola And Clermont Gain New Access To Sunshine State Parkway

A new interchange is slated to open June 10 on the northern leg of Florida’s Turnpike near mile 278, officials with Florida’s Department of Transportation have announced. The new “Minneola Interchange” is already a common site for regular drivers of the turnpike, as lane closures and adjustments have been made over the past year to accommodate construction of the new ramps. The exit number will be 278.

Minneola Interchange, looking west on Hancock Road

An aerial view of the Minneola Interchange on Florida’s Turnpike, taken in March 2017, looking west over the turnpike along Hancock Road. Photo: Florida DOT.

The interchange will be an all-electronic one, which is to say no cash will be accepted at the tolls, which will be collected only on the southbound entrance and northbound exit ramps. Florida’s Turnpike is in the process of converting to an all-electronic system, but completion is still several years away.

The junction will give nearly direct access to the town of Minneola, which sits just west of the turnpike, and north of Clermont, a western suburb of Orlando. Drivers exiting the turnpike will find themselves on Hancock Road in Minneola, with access to Hancock Road, which is being completed to connect towns on the north and east of the turnpike, on the west shore of Lake Apopka, to those on the south and west, including Minneola and Clermont.

The opening of the interchange will be heralded locally with a community celebration by the city of Minneola, as well as a 5K run to honor Christa Deason, and FDOT employee city officials say was instrumental in bringing the interchange project to fruition. Following the run, the ribbon-cutton for the new interchange is expected to happen around 9:30 a.m., at which time the ramps will be opened for traffic.

A satellite view of the new Minneola Interchange, from Google Earth, taken on March 17, 2017, shows the entrance and exit ramps nearly complete, with the electronic toll gantries already installed on the northbound exit ramp and southbound entrance ramp. Photo: Google Earth.

The cost of the project was funded in part by private developers, including Family Dynamics Land Company, LLC, which donated all the land for the project, and Minneola Mountain Properties Community Redevelopment Area, which raised funds for the construction of the interchange, itself, according to the FDOT.

The completion of Hancock Road, which was an integral part of the interchange project, was funded by both Family Dynamics and by the government of Lake County, where the interchange is located.

“Monumental” Interchange Project Moves Forward As First New Ramp Opens

New Innovation Way Interchange Replacing Monument Parkway Junction East Of Orlando

New onramp for Beachline Expressway in Florida

The Beachline Expressway begins getting a replacement interchange this weekend as authorities open the first ramp of the new Innovation Parkway junction.

The first ramp of a revised interchange system on Florida’s Beachline Expressway will open Friday, March 31, the Central Florida Expressway Authority has announced. The new ramp will route traffic directly from the southbound lanes of Innovation Way to the westbound lanes of the State Road 528, which is the Beachline.

“Motorists traveling south on Innovation Way will be able to access the new ramp directly instead of following the existing configuration through Monument Parkway,” officials announced in a written release. Authorities said the old southbound ramp, from Monument Parkway, will close as the new ramp opens this weekend. Monument Parkway becomes International Corporate Park Boulevard south of the Beachline Expressway.

The Innovation Way interchange, about nine miles east of Orlando International Airport, will replace the Monument Parkway/ICP interchange completely by early 2018. The interchange is being updated to accommodate new development in the area, which includes a new intrastate commuter rail system, All Aboard Florida.

Detour signs will be available to guide drivers on Monument Parkway, officials said. “Motorists traveling on Monument Parkway and ICP Boulevard will be directed to head north to Innovation Way to access the new ramp,” officials wrote.

Florida’s Turnpike Closing Overnight For One Week

North Section Of Turnpike Being Modified To Accommodate More Traffic

A five-mile stretch of Florida’s Turnpike will be closing overnight starting Monday, March 13, 2017 and continuing through Friday, March 17, 2017, officials with Florida’s Department of Transportation have announced. The closures will be in effect for a four-hour period each morning, from about 12:30 a.m. until 4:30 a.m., authorities said in a written release.

The closures are necessary, officials said, to accommodate road-widening and resurfacing along that stretch of the Turnpike, through Wildwood. Additional improvements will also improve traffic flow at the I-75 interchange with Florida’s Turnpike, officials announced.

Detours During Turnpike Closure

Path of detour on Florida's Turnpike
Drivers who want to get onto Florida’s Turnpike southbound from I-75 will have to exit I-75 at Florida’s State Road 44, then travel east to U.S. 301. From U.S. 301, drivers can travel southbound to the entrance of Florida’s Turnpike.

Drivers who are traveling north on Florida’s Turnpike will follow the same detour, but in the opposite direction. Drivers will be detoured off the turnpike at Exit 304, then turned north on U.S. 301 to Florida State Road 44. Drivers will then be detoured west on SR 44 to I-75.

Delaware River Bridge To Remain Closed Two Months

Officials Announce April Reopening, But Only If “Best Case Scenario” Prevails

The Delaware River Bridge, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, is slated to remain closed at least another eight weeks, officials announced Friday. The bridge was shut to civilian traffic on Friday, January 20 when a large crack was discovered in a support truss. The decision to keep the bridge closed was made by a joint engineering task force being co-led by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The agencies jointly own and manage the DRB.

Jacking And Realigning Bridge To Take At Least One Month

Crack in Delaware River Bridge

Weight loads shifted considerably, officials say, when this crack opened in a support truss of the DRB, which has been closed to traffic since January 20, 2017. The bridge now must be realigned before the fracture can be repaired.

That means the next several weeks will be devoted to installing temporary towers and hydraulic jacks to realign the bridge. The groundwork for the jacking towers began last week, authorities said. Steel-pipe pilings are being installed underground, according to officials, that will support 80-foot towers. Those towers will be carefully jacked into position to realign the bridge, but that will not happen until early March, at least, according to authorities.

However, officials admit they do not know whether the rest of the bridge can support a regular traffic flow, and authorities said they will not be able to determine that until the jacking process is completed.

“The goal of the jacking operation is to return the bridge to its original position and allow us to complete a permanent splice of the fracture,” said Brad Heigel, Chief Engineer for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. “As the jacking operation occurs, and load is transferred within the bridge, instrumentation will monitor the actual loads, stresses and displacements, which will be compared to estimated outcomes from computer models.”

Agency Heads Say They Hope For “Best Case Scenario”, But Sound Cautionary Tone

“Under the best case scenario, the bridge will return to its original position and the construction team will be able to install a permanent repair splice on the fractured steel member,” officials with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wrote in a prepared statement. “It is possible, however, that the process will reveal the need for a [sic] more complex repairs or possibly even replacement of the entire structure, in which case the closure would last longer.”

“We want to get this bridge reopened to traffic as soon as we are safely able to do so,” said New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Richard T. Hammer. Hammer also serves as chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority board.

“We understand the inconvenience this closure creates for tens of thousands of drivers every day,” he said. “We are working around the clock to get it reopened. But we won’t allow a single car to cross that bridge until we are absolutely certain that it is safe.”

Alternate routes remain in effect for traffic crossing between the two states’ turnpikes. Authorities say the DRB carries an average of 42-thousand vehicles per day across the now-disabled span.

REPAIR TIMETABLE

The PTC announced a tentative repair timetable, which authorities say represents the best case scenario for reopening the bridge to traffic. That timetable is as follows:

Estimated Bridge Repair Timetable

  • Feb. 6 – Install jacking towers.
  • Feb. 13 – Install jacking towers, instrumentation and structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • Feb. 20 – Install instrumentation and structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • Feb. 27 – Install structural reinforcement required for jacking.
  • March 6 – Perform jacking.
  • March 13 – Install permanent repair splice.
  • March 20 – Perform load testing.
  • March 27 – Demobilize jacking towers.


ALTERNATE ROUTES

Eastbound Detour (Pennsylvania to New Jersey)

PA Turnpike motorists heading east into New Jersey should use this revised alternate route: Exit at the Bensalem Interchange, #351 in Bucks County. Follow U.S. Route 1 north, to I-95 north, to I-295, south, to I-195 east. Take Exit 6 on I-195, and reenter the NJ Turnpike. Source: PA Turnpike Commission.

Westbound Detour (New Jersey to Pennsylvania)

NJTP drivers heading west into Pennsylvania will need to use either Interstate 78, Interstate 295, or the Burlington-Bristol Bridge. Source: New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

“Extreme Delays” Likely Between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Authorities Warn

Delaware River Bridge To Be Closed Indefinitely Due To Crack In Structure

Delaware River Bridge

The Delaware River Bridge, linking New Jersey and Pennsylvania drivers, will remain closed indefinitely, officials have announced.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority are, jointly, warning drivers to expect “extreme delays” at crossings over the Delaware River due to the closure of the Delaware River Bridge. The bridge, which connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, was closed Friday afternoon after a painting crew found a large crack in a support truss.

Officials with each state office were asking drivers to consider using public transit or carpooling to help reduce congestion. Authorities also have suggested people consider adjusting their work schedules, for those who can do so, or consider working from home, known in the tech world as telecommuting.

Updated Detours From State Officials In Pennsylvania And New Jersey

Meanwhile, authorities in both states listed an updated detour list, given the DRB is likely to remain closed for weeks to come. Essentially, drivers heading to New Jersey will be detoured off the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Exit 351, although local traffic will be permitted to access Exit 358, authorities with the PA Turnpike Commission announced. Meanwhile, drivers heading to Pennsylvania will be detoured off the New Jersey Turnpike at Exit 7A.

The full set of detours released by the states’ respective commissions is as follows:

  • Motorists heading to New Jersey will be detoured at PA Turnpike Exit 351 to Route 1 northbound to I-95 northbound, which becomes I-295 southbound in New Jersey, to I-195 eastbound to the New Jersey Turnpike. PA Turnpike Exit #358, Delaware Valley, will remain open for local traffic only; watch out for a single-lane pattern approaching Delaware Valley.
  • Motorists heading to Pennsylvania will be detoured at New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 7A to I-195 westbound to I-295 northbound, which becomes I-95 southbound; or from New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 5 to Mount Holly Road. Motorists traveling from northern New Jersey are advised to exit at Interchange 14 and use I-78 west into Pennsylvania.

Bridge Analysis To Take Several Weeks

Crack in Delaware River Bridge

The Culprit: This fracture, discovered by a painting crew Friday, January 20, forced the closure of the Delaware River Bridge. Officials said an analysis of the bridge’s structure will take several weeks. Until that is completed, at the very least, the bridge will remain closed. Photo: PA Turnpike Commission.

Engineers and construction crews worked through the weekend to stabilize the bridge at the site of the fracture; however, officials announced Saturday that a structural analysis of the bridge would take several weeks. “A comprehensive bridge analysis will be performed to better understand the global impact the fracture has had on the entire bridge,” authorities announced in a news release. “Information gathered is critical to determine the scope of and strategy for a permanent repair and reopening the bridge to traffic.”

“Unfortunately, at a minimum, the bridge will remain closed for several weeks,” said New Jersey Turnpike Authority Executive Director Joseph W. Mrozek in a written statement. “We will not be able to reopen it until we are absolutely certain it is safe. All of the agencies and contractors involved will be working urgently to make that happen as quickly as possible.”

The bridge has been undergoing a $61-million rehabilitation since 2012, according to officials, with in-depth inspections of the structure every two years. The $400-thousand cost is shared between the PTC and the NJTA, although the New Jersey Turnpike Authority manages the contract.

Sean Logan, chairman of the PA Turnpike Commission, said the most likely cause of the crack was rapidly-changing weather conditions, but that a complete analysis was prudent and necessary, aside simply assessing the fracture’s impact on the bridge.

“We are stabilizing the bridge now to prevent further movement,” Logan wrote. “However, out of an abundance of caution and to protect traveler safety, the bridge must remain closed until a full-scale analysis and repair plan have been completed.”

The four-lane bridge opened in 1956 and carries about 42,000 vehicles per day across the Delaware River.

 

Delaware River Bridge Closed Due To Structural Crack

Pennsylvania Turnpike Traffic Rerouted at East Terminus

Drivers On New Jersey Turnpike’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension Also Impacted

Crack in Delaware River BridgeThe Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and New Jersey Turnpike Authority have announced the Delaware River Bridge between Pennsylvania and New Jersey will remain closed for as long as two weeks, and perhaps longer, while a structural assessment is performed on the span, the commission announced late Saturday.  Both agencies, which jointly own and maintain the span, decided to close the bridge Friday after a crack was discovered in one of the bridge trusses. New Jersey Turnpike officials closed the westbound lanes of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension, as well, which connects the mainline of the NJ Turnpike to the DRB.

Stabilization work continues to enhance the structure of the bridge; however, authorities announced Saturday, in a written news release, a full assessment must be completed to determine how the truss defect has impacted the remainder of the bridge structure. “Due to the significant fracture, stresses have been redistributed to other parts of the bridge,” said PA Turnpike Chief Engineer Brad Heigel. “We regret the inconvenience of closing the bridge, however, it is necessary to properly evaluate the bridge’s current condition and determine next steps to ensure the safety to our customers.”

Site of crack on Delaware River Bridge

Location of the crack on The Delaware River Bridge, which connects the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike. Officials closed the bridge Friday, January 20, after a crack was discovered in the span. It will remain closed at least two weeks, officials announced Saturday. Photo: PA Turnpike Commission.

Authorities said the two-week assessment may take longer, depending on what authorities are able to learn. “Until more is understood about the damage, it is not possible to estimate how many days or weeks the bridge will need to be closed while the permanent fix is made,” officials wrote.

Officials with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority released an advisory that notified media and the public the repair of the structure will involve the construction of eight towers to help temporarily support the weight of the bridge. “Jacks will be used to attempt to lift the structure back into its original position,” the NJ Turnpike Authority announced in its advisory. “Sensors will be installed to enable engineers to monitor the load at key points on the structure.”

The fracture was discovered on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River Bridge during a routine check of the span by a painting crew on Friday.

The 1.2-mile span opened in 1956. About 42-thousand vehicles cross the span each day, according to officials with the agencies.

Eastbound Detour (Pennsylvania to New Jersey)

PA Turnpike motorists heading east into New Jersey should use this revised alternate route: Exit at the Bensalem Interchange, #351 in Bucks County. Follow U.S. Route 1 north, to I-95 north, to I-295, south, to I-195 east. Take Exit 6 on I-195, and reenter the NJ Turnpike. Source: PA Turnpike Commission.

Westbound Detour (New Jersey to Pennsylvania)

NJTP drivers heading west into Pennsylvania will need to use either Interstate 78, Interstate 295, or the Burlington-Bristol Bridge. Source: New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

2017 Toll Increases Impact Multiple States

Many Agencies Raising Tolls For Capital Improvement Projects

Road Widening and Technology Upgrades Lead Lists

Drivers across many of the nation’s toll roads will find themselves pitching more change into the basket as they pass barriers in 2017, as a number of states’ tolling agencies announced they are preparing to raise costs. Pennsylvania’s Turnpike Commission announced its rate increase in July, via an online news release. The Ohio Turnpike Commission began raising rates in 2013, and the commission has already published Ohio’s annual rate increases on its website through 2023. Illinois announced its rate increase for 2017 early in 2016.

DOWNLOAD 2017 TOLL BOOKS

Oklahoma Toll exhibit from NewsOK.com. Illinois Tollway rate card from Illinois Tollway. Ohio Turnpike toll rates from The Ohio Turnpike Commission. Pennsylvania Turnpike rates from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

In making its announcement for 2017, the PA Turnpike Commission said its toll increases were necessary to fund a “10-year spending plan which invests more than $5.77-billion” into the turnpike system. Part of that plan, the commission said, includes road widening and reconstruction projects.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission issued a proclamation, in 2013, that stated, in part, “[T]oll rate increases are needed to pay any increased operating costs over the next ten years, as well as increases in debt service payments required because of the issuance of Turnpike Revenue Bonds.”

Illinois Tollway construction

Road work on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, in April 2016.

Meanwhile, Illinois has been on a massive technology and infrastructure improvement plan that, this year, included a major upgrade of the Jane Addams Memorial Highway, in addition to improvements on other toll roads of the Illinois Tollway system. The current set of price increases is due to impact primarily truckers. New all-electronic tolling systems are also set to become operational Illinois’ Route 390 later in 2017, according to the state’s official toll website.

Different Dates For Toll Rate Hikes From State To State

Not all 2017 increases are happening on New Year’s Day. While Illinois and Ohio are hiking rates on January 1, Pennsylvania is giving drivers a one-week grace period, of sorts. Penna rates will go up on January 8.

However, not all 2017 toll rate increases have been finalized, and not all state toll agencies know whether they plan to raise rates.

Some Toll Adjustments In Some States Still Uncertain

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority had planned a 12% toll increase that would take effect January 1, but a challenge to the bond issue the increase would fund has put the precise date, and the increase, in doubt, said Jack Damrill, the authority’s Director of Communications and Facilities.

However, Mr. Damrill sounded confident Oklahoma’s tolls would be adjusted in the coming year, regardless of the state’s Supreme Court case. “There is a good possibility the toll increase could be put on hold until the outcome of the litigation,” he wrote in an email, adding, “In short, our tolls will be changing sometime in 2017.”

Chad Huff, with Florida’s Department of Transportation, said authorities in that state were unsure about any toll increase on Florida’s Turnpike in 2017, even though the state’s legislature has authorized the agency to raise rates to keep up with U.S. Consumer Price Index, a process the state calls “toll indexing.” Huff said Florida’s toll agency would review the potential for a 2017 increase well after the start of the year, suggesting a decision may be made early in the second quarter of 2017. “Our toll rates are evaluated in the Spring, for possible implementation in the Summer,” Huff wrote TurnpikeInfo.com. “Best to check back in April.” Florida typically raises rates in July, although there were no increases in 2016.

Indiana, Massachusetts Hike Rates In 2016

Indiana Toll Road eastbound

The Indiana Toll Road, pictured above, recently underwent a major resurfacing that finally forced the state’s concession company to raise rates in July of 2016.

Some states have already raised rates ahead of the coming new year. Tolls across Indiana went up July 1, after an announcement by the Indiana Toll Road Concession Company, a private-sector company contracted to run the state’s 157-mile toll highway. The ITR connects to the Chicago Skyway on the west end and to the Ohio Turnpike at the east gate. The ITRCC announced the hike only two months before it officially took effect.

In Massachusetts, the residents and visitors traveling the Massachusetts Turnpike were introduced to new tolls on October 28, 2016, along with a new all-electronic toll system that no longer accepts cash. The Mass Pike, as it is known colloquially, connects to the New York State Thruway on the west end of the state, and to Boston and Logan International Airport in the east.

No Toll Increases For New Jersey, New York

Neither the New Jersey Turnpike nor the Garden State Parkway were due for a toll increase in the coming year, said Thomas Feeney, with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

In New York, a spokeswoman at the New York State Thruway press office said Governor Andrew Cuomo had frozen future toll increases until after 2020.

 

Service Plazas Opened On Florida’s Turnpike

Gas Stations Operational And Food Available

Tolls Remain Suspended Until At Least 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 9

The service plazas on Florida’s Turnpike are all operational in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, according to a staff member at the Turkey Lake service plaza. The plazas had been closed as the storm roiled offshore Thursday and Friday, sending wave upon wave of feeder bands across the peninusla. The Florida Department of Transportation, under orders from the governor’s office, had closed all plazas in order to protect staff.

The plazas began reopening in South Florida Friday afternoon, and all are now operational, with the threat of Matthew now passed.

Meanwhile, tolls remain suspended across Florida’s Turnpike and other regional toll facilities, including Orlando’s toll roads and those in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. While the free ride may be saving money, traffic congestion is occasionally up at some toll plazas, where officials are directing traffic into just a few lanes. The governor’s office released a statement late Sunday afternoon stating tolls would remain suspended until at least 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 9. However, regional tolling agencies were reviewing their toll status on a county by county basis.

Leesburg Toll Plaza

A southbound view of the Leesburg toll plaza on October 9, 2016, as drivers are pushed to the left-most lanes to accommodate toll suspensions. It was unclear Sunday when tolls would be reinstated on the Florida’s Turnpike. Image from Florida Department of Transportation.

Elsewhere, officials will be examining constructions sites in the coming days on Florida’s Turnpike and other regional toll roads to determine whether it is safe to resume maintenance and new construction operations. When that process is complete, construction restrictions will resume.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4:50 p.m. to include the governor’s office’s latest statement on the status of tolls on Florida’s Turnpike.