Oct. 4, 2021
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) has approved a toll increase that will allow Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) to fund its 10-year capital plan and continue to provide safe, efficient and reliable cross‐harbour transportation for the next decade.
The increase, which will take effect Jan. 3, 2022, will see the price for a passenger vehicle using MACPASS increase from $.80 to $1. The cost for a passenger vehicle using cash will go from $1 to $1.25. Commercial vehicles using cash or MacPass will see an increase of 25 per cent per axel.
Bus and Access-A-Bus traffic are exempt from the increase.
“This is the first increase in a decade,” said HHB CEO and General Manager Steve Snider. “We have $280 million of work that needs to get done over the next ten years to extend the life of the MacKay Bridge and keep the Macdonald Bridge operating at peak efficiency.”
HHB filed for the toll increase earlier this year and was granted a hearing in June. The 10-year plan was presented at the hearing with external engineering consultants verifying the need for the capital and rehabilitation work.
The capital projects include steel repair and painting, span bearings and pier rehabilitation, dehumidification of the MacKay Bridge main cable, resurfacing and deck repairs, and fatigue repairs and associated component replacement.
The toll increase includes funding to support the exploration of the future of the MacKay Bridge. The MacKay Bridge deck system is approaching the end of its expected service life. A 2020 feasibility study identified the preferred option as a new six-lane replacement bridge with two active transportation lanes.
“No decision has been made, but if we were to proceed, the new bridge is projected to be required by 2040,” said Snider. “This allows us to fund the early stages of the planning and design process between 2025 and 2030.”
From the NSUARB decision: “Overall, the Board finds that the projects included in the HDBC’s 2021-2031 capital plan are necessary and appropriate to maintain the Bridges and ancillary structures to ensure they are in good operating condition.”
Motorists who switch from cash to a MacPass will not feel the impact of the toll increase.
For more information, contact
Communications Manager HHB | Sproctor@hdbc.ns.ca 902 221 8461