Travelers making their way south on the Veterans Expressway will no longer need to use cash once they get past Sugarwood.
The last cash toll at Anderson Road’s toll plaza will be collected early Friday before all traffic on the road converts to all-electronic tolling. And by the end of the summer, all of the plazas leading up to Hutchison Road will follow suit.
Taking a lead from the Crosstown Expressway, tolls instead will be collected either through a SunPass transponder, or through the Florida Turnpike’s Toll-By-Plate system, which involves scanning plates and sending the registered owner of that plate a bill for the toll — plus a possible administration fee.
Safety, however, is the biggest concern for those leading the conversion to cashless tolls. Drivers are asked to not slow down or stop in the tollbooth areas, but instead travel at posted speed limits. Otherwise, there is a fear of accidents in areas that used to collect tolls.
Also, on June 13, there will be detours for northbound motorists beginning at midnight between Waters Avenue and Gunn Highway. Southbound motorists will get a similar detour beginning Saturday at 9 p.m. between Gunn and Waters. This will allow work crews time to install final equipment and to calibrate, according to a release.
Additional detours and lane closures will take place June 18-22. Complete removal of the toll plaza structures at Anderson is expected to take several months.
Drivers who use SunPass will typically be charged lower tolls than the standard fare, and won’t be assessed administrative fees. Those using Toll-By-Plate could see fees up to $2.50 per invoice, which are sent out monthly. Florida Turnpike officials say up to 84 percent of all drivers on the Veterans Expressway and Suncoast Parkway already use SunPass, and more than 150,000 motorists use the Veterans every day.
The conversion is part of the $380 million widening of the Veterans, the first major construction project on the road since it opened in October 1994.
For more information on the cashless tolling on a road heavily used by those who live or work in Pasco and northern Hillsborough counties, visit FloridasTurnpike.com, or call (800) 749-7453.
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