Aerial view of the Blue Water Bridge/St. Clair River ( photo by Dave Dentinger)Aerial view of the Blue Water Bridge/St. Clair River ( photo by Dave Dentinger)

First toll hike at Blue Water Bridge in over two years

Tolls at the Blue Water Bridge are going up for the first time since November 2018.

Passenger vehicles entering the U.S will pay $5 Canadian, an increase of $0.75.

Federal Bridge Corporation (FBCL) Director of Communications Todd Kealey said the rate for ConneXion pre-paid account users is only going up $0.25 to $4.25 Canadian.

"The idea here is essentially to encourage more drivers to make use of the ConneXion program and not have to handle cash and plastics between the toll attendant and the customers," said Kealey.

Tolls for commercial vehicles heading to the U.S. are also going up effective April 1, to $5 Canadian per axle, an increase of $0.50.

Kealey said the increases were triggered by maintenance and operational costs, the currency exchange rate and traffic patterns, especially since the border has been closed to non-essential traffic for almost a year due to the pandemic.

"It does affect the long-term planning because what we've found over the last year is that while the trucking traffic is still kind of healthy, what that does is allow us to keep operating but the thing that allows us to maintain the bridge on a long-term level, like the resurfacing work that needs to happen in the next five years, it's really cars that are taking care of that cost."

Kealey said tolls, in essence, are a user fee for the bridge to maintain itself, and standard inflation and the cost of living has gone up for everyone over the last three years or so.

Rates are reviewed semi-annually with the next review scheduled for October 1.

FBCL owns, manages and operates international bridges and associated structures in Point Edward, Sault Ste. Marie, Lansdowne (Thousand Islands) and Cornwall, Ontario.

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