HHB submits application for a toll increase

 

January 29, 2021

DARTMOUTH, N.S. – Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) has made an application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) to increase tolls, the first request in ten years. The increase is required to fund HHB’s 10-year capital, rehabilitation and maintenance plan and related borrowings to ensure the bridges are well maintained and operational for the safety and convenience of the travelling public.

HHB is asking for NSUARB approval to increase tolls as follows (the proposed toll chart is attached):

  • $0.20 per crossing for regular passenger cars using MACPASS ($0.80 to $1.00)
  • $0.25 per crossing for cash customers ($1 to $1.25)
  • An increase of 25% per axle for commercial vehicles using MACPASS
  • An increase of 25% per axle for commercial vehicles using cash
  • No changes are proposed for buses

If the NSUARB approves the application, the toll increase would come into effect on or after January 3, 2022.

“HHB is dedicated to providing safe, efficient and reliable bridge travel,” says Steve Snider, HHB CEO. “The bridges and other infrastructure are aging and this toll increase will help ensure safety and efficiency is maintained.” The Macdonald Bridge and the MacKay Bridge are 66 and 51 years old respectively.

Capital projects for the next ten years are expected to cost more than $280 million. Projects in the 10-year plan include:

  • For the Macdonald Bridge, rehabilitation of elements that were not replaced as part of the Big Lift including: concrete repairs, steel and paint repairs and the replacement of approach span bearings.
  • Work on the MacKay includes: rehabilitating the concrete substructure, rehabilitating the concrete approach spans, resurfacing the suspended spans, main cable dehumidification and potential deck segment replacement.
  • Maintenance is required over the next 10 years to several overpasses leading to the bridges that are more than 50 years old (Princess Margaret overpass, Baffin Boulevard retaining wall, CN overpass, Windmill Road overpass, and Victoria Road overpass).
  • Replacing the electronic toll collection system. HHB’s tolling system is 13 years old, with some components as old as 22 years. The infrastructure (coin collection system, etc.) and the information technology used are obsolete and no longer supported.
  • Scoping study and preliminary design for the replacement of the MacKay Bridge.