Tolls at the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge are going up 25 cents next year to $2.25. The increase takes effect Jan. 1.
Monday, the Chesapeake Transportation Toll Facility Advisory Committee held a public hearing on the increase, but no one attended.
The Jordan Bridge started with a $2 toll when it opened in 2012, but then dropped to a promotional price of $1 in 2013, before rising to $1.50, $1.75 and back to the current rate.
General Manager Kevin Crum said the goal is to have fair, reasonable increases over time.
Another change is new peak/off-peak hours and rates for semis and trucks with more than two axles. That rate depends on the number of axles, and ranges from $6.75 to $7.75 for peak hours, 5:30 a.m-9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays; and $4 to $5 on off-peak hours.
The bridge is also eliminating “pay by plate” options next year, which few use, Crum said. E-ZPass and invoice by mail will be the only ways to pay.
The South Norfolk Jordan Bridge is a private facility owned and operated by United Bridge Partners, which has authority over its toll schedule. The bridge connects Portsmouth and Chesapeake over the Elizabeth River.
The city closed the old Jordan Bridge in 2008 because of structural deterioration and a lack of funding for repairs. That bridge had a toll of 50 cents in 1995, which was later increased to 75 cents.
The new bridge has had more than 6.5 million trips since its opening.
Unlike the Elizabeth River Crossings’ Midtown and Downtown tunnel tolls, Crum said the toll to cross the new Jordan Bridge won’t automatically increase each year.
“We don’t have a long-term toll plan,” Crum said. “We look at our budget and expenses to see what we need.
“But we’re careful not to price ourselves out of business – we’re an alternative route and we know that.”