Ron DeSantis Orders FDOT to Slash Tolls on Garcon Point Bridge in the Panhandle

On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to reduce tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County.

DeSantis ordered the rates lowered from $4.50 to $2.30 for drivers with a SunPass and from $5.00 to $2.75 for drivers paying cash.

“The reduced toll rates are consistent with other FDOT toll facilities across the state, and the new rate erases 20 years of toll increases to the bridge. More than 6,000 drivers use the Garcon Point Bridge every day and will benefit from this reduction in tolls,” the governor’s office noted.

“Five dollars is just too much to pay for the more than 6,000 drivers that use the Garcon Point Bridge every day,” said  DeSantis. “I am pleased to announce that today I am directing FDOT Secretary Thibault to reduce the toll rates on the bridge as soon as possible to bring them in line with other facilities across the state and erase 20 years of rate increases.”

“The department’s first priority is helping ensure motorists experience toll relief as quickly as possible,” said FDOT Sec. Kevin Thibault. “The necessary changes to our systems will take place over the next few weeks, and I highly encourage everyone to purchase a SunPass transponder, so they can experience the lowest tolls possible.”

“Following impacts from Hurricane Sally in September 2020, the Pensacola Bay Bridge closed while being repaired. While the Pensacola Bay Bridge was closed, thousands of residents in the area used the Garcon Point Bridge, but were paying a $5.00 toll to cross the bridge. Shortly following the impacts of Hurricane Sally, Governor DeSantis waived the tolls on the Garcon Point Bridge, and continued the toll suspension through July 6, 2021,” the governor’s office noted. “Now that the Pensacola Bay Bridge has reopened, Governor DeSantis has directed FDOT to lower the toll rates at the Garcon Point Bridge. To ensure that the toll rates remain low, today, Governor DeSantis also directed FDOT to reach a settlement with the Trustee and the bondholders to purchase the bridge and transfer control to the Florida Turnpike Enterprise. Today, Governor DeSantis also announced that he will be asking the Florida Legislature to take action to codify the lower toll rates into law.”

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

KEVIN DERBY
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