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Toll Increase Incensing S. Fla. Drivers

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – If you’re planning on taking to the Florida Turnpike of the Sawgrass Expressway, you better be ready to pay a little bit more for your tolls.

The increase is required by a law passed in 2007, but will not take effect until June 30th of next year. That law, signed by then-Governor Charlie Crist, mandates an increase in tolls every five years, or an optional increase annually according to the consumer price index.

Officials opted for the former.

As soon as the increase goes into effect next year, you’ll pay an extra 25 cents more at cash tolls. So if you take the turnpike every day to and from work that adds up to $2.50 more a week and $10 more a month.

“I mean with the economy the way it is, increasing the tolls, it’s going to be hard on people,” said South Florida driver Marcos Cruz. “That’s just gonna make it worse because that’s gonna mean more out of my pocket.”

“As of right now, I spend $40 every two weeks so that would be a big hit actually,” said driver Janet Lorenzo.

The rate hike does not include the express lanes on Interstate 95 or toll roads operated by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).

Officials say the extra revenue will go toward expanding the turnpike in Miami-Dade County and improvements to the Golden Glades Interchange, among other roadway projects.

FDOT officials will present their proposal online on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. Those interested in viewing must register at http://floridasturnpike.com/tools_tollratenotices.cfm and www.FloridasTurnpike.com

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