Toll increase approved for Oklahoma turnpikes

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Tolls on Oklahoma’s turnpikes will increase an average 16 percent later this summer for commercial and passenger traffic. The increases vary on each toll road and each destination, according to the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. The higher tolls, which go into effect Aug. 4, will bring in about $21 million a year.

The Turnpike Authority, without the toll increase, was looking at a shortfall of about $21 million this year. Because the increase will take effect more than halfway through the year, the authority’s capital improvement budget was cut this year from about $64 million to about $35 million.

Tolls produce the only source of revenue for the Turnpike Authority, says Phil Tomlinson, the authority’s director. About half the toll revenue comes from out-of-state motorists, he says.