In Dallas area, higher tolls, fewer tollbooths

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The North Texas Tollway Authority has voted to increase toll rates Sept. 29 and begin converting its toll roads, including the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike, to all-electronic collection next year.

On the DNT, a five-axle truck currently pays $1.80 cash or $1.45 via TollTag to drive the main plazas north from Wycliff Avenue to Keller Springs, or south from Parker Road to Keller Springs, says Sam Lopez, an authority public information officer. After the increase, a five-axle truck will pay $4 cash or $2.80 via TollTag, Lopez says.

Tolls will not be increased at the Wycliff main plaza near downtown Dallas until construction is complete in 2008. There will be no rate increase on the Addison Airport Toll Tunnel and the Mountain Creek Lake Bridge.

The authority will consider toll rate adjustments again in 2010, with probable additional rate increases every five years after 2010. The increase, approved in November 2006, is to cover inflation costs and to maintain, repair and expand the system, the authority says. The last systemwide increase was in 1999. In 2002, President George Bush Turnpike tolls were changed to match the DNT rate.

The NTTA board voted unanimously Aug. 15 to begin converting all its toll roads to all-electronic collection by May 2010. Future NTTA turnpike projects will be all-electronic. The Tollway ramp plazas and Mountain Creek Lake Bridge will become all-electronic in 2008. The Tollway main lane plazas and Addison Airport Toll Tunnel will be converted in 2009 and the President George Bush Turnpike in 2010.