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PennDOT Expects 9 Bridges To Be Prepared For Tolling By August

By: Shelley Bortz/KDKA-TV

BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) - It appears PennDOT's plan to toll several bridges in Pennsylvania, including one along I-79 near Bridgeville, will come to fruition despite lawmakers' attempts to block it.

Drivers would be expected to fork over up to $2 every time they cross the bridge. Lawmakers and drivers believe this would harm businesses in the area, drive up traffic on local roads and drain the wallets of commuters who travel I-79 every day.

The I-79 bridge near Bridgeville is just one of nine bridges on interstate highways across the commonwealth that PennDOT is considering adding fees for repairs and upgrades.

A lawsuit was filed back in November on behalf of South Fayette, Collier and Bridgeville to block the department's plan, which if approved, would stay in place for 30 years.

Opponents believe this would be a financial burden to local users and harm businesses in the area, while PennDOT says it's necessary because fewer people are driving and paying for gas due to COVID.

Close to 90,000 people travel I-79 on a daily basis.

"I would be very disappointed if every time I drive around locally, I'd have to pay a toll," said Jane Birris from South Fayette.

"It's going to hurt businesses in the area tremendously because people are going to take alternate routes for sure," said Tina Wolford from Cecil Township.

PennDOT expects all bridges to be approved for tolling by August. However, the lawsuit is still pending.

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