Odds are you live in a state that makes use of tolls to maintain roads and bridges. In fact, only 15 states do not have toll roads in this country. For those that live and work in the states that do utilize them, they can be expensive, especially if they are part of a daily commute.
Some areas are more prone to these tolls than others. Here is a look at some of the “toll capitals” in America.
Florida. The Sunshine State has more toll roads, bridges and causeways than any other state in the union. There are over 700 miles of toll roads in the state, and in Central Florida, they are particularly difficult to avoid. There are 20 roadways that you will have to pay for the right to travel in in Florida, the longest being the Florida Turnpike. It will cost you about $18 to travel its 265 miles. In addition, fourteen separate bridges collect tolls in the state ranging from just 85 cents for the Pinellas Bayway to $6 each for the Gasparilla Bridge and the Sanibel Causeway.
New Jersey. The Garden State makes our list of toll capitals for a one very big reason. The New Jersey Turnpike makes more money than any other toll road in North America. Its 2012 revenues are said to be $992 million. That’s just a few bucks shy of one BILLION dollars. It will cost you about $14 to traverse the 113 miles from the Delaware Bridge to I-80 at Ridgefield Park. The New Jersey Turnpike is also difficult to avoid for commuters in the region.
Chicago. The Windy City makes the list of toll capitals because of a small 7.8 mile stretch of roadway called the Chicago Skyway. The Skyway connects the busy Dan Ryan Expressway with the Indiana Toll way but does so at a cost. According to the Federal Highway Administration, at about 50 cents a mile, it is the most expensive toll road on a per-mile basis in the country.
Delaware. For years, it has been assumed that the Delaware Turnpike has been the most expensive toll road in the country. Make no mistake, at a $4 fee to travel its 11.2 miles, it IS expensive, especially if you use it on a daily basis. It however, is not the most expensive. Its reputation however, keeps it on our list of America’s toll capitals.
New York. The Empire State has no lack of toll paying opportunities, and many simply cannot be avoided without making your trip much more challenging. The New York Thruway from Yonkers to south of Buffalo will cost you about $20. Then there’s the Berkshire Connector, The New England Thruway, The Niagara Thruway and a roadway called the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. Located in the Adirondacks, the 25 mph roadway carries a hefty toll that amounts to over $3 per mile. This gives it the distinction as the most expensive non-interstate toll road in the nation.
Pennsylvania. At 360 miles in length, the Pennsylvania Turnpike runs east to west across the entire state, connecting the major cities of Philadelphia to the east with Pittsburgh to the west. It costs drivers almost $34 to make the full trek on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. With initial groundbreaking taking place in 1938, the road has the distinction of being America’s first super-highway.
Recent innovations in toll roads include increased use of electronic EZ-passes, the construction of express lanes, and elimination of toll worker jobs. In many states, including already over-tolled Florida, there is continued discussion of adding even more tolls. This proves why defensive driving is not all you need in your toolbox while driving these days; be sure to drive with a stash of cash. While toll roads are found throughout the country, the East Coast has the majority of these toll roadways.