By Elizabeth Janney
A toll booth is being removed on U.S. 40 near the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge. The work is part of the Hogan administration’s goal of moving toward cashless tolls.
In October, both the Hatem Bridge and the Key Bridge will transition from cash to electronic tolls, like the system in place on the Express Toll Lanes, officials say. Tolls will be collected through E-ZPass or video tolling, according to authorities.
During the work on Route 40 at the Hatem Bridge, authorities say that one toll lane and booth will be closed, and E-ZPass will be accepted in all open toll lanes; drivers can use the three toll lanes and cashless toll booths that remain.
The Hatem and Key bridges will be the first among Maryland bridges to convert to all-electronic tolls because 93 percent of Hatem Bridge users and 80 percent of Key Bridge users already pay with E-ZPass, transportation officials reported.
New overhead structures will be installed at these two bridges in September for the electronic tolling system.
Work at the Hatem and Key bridges is expected to be complete by spring 2021, at which point the existing toll plazas will be demolished, and pavement will be reconstructed.
Once this is done, drivers will be able to continue traveling at highway speeds, without slowing down for the tolls.
Officials estimate drivers at the Hatem and Key bridges will save $1 million in fuel and 44,000 hours each year simply by not stopping at toll booths.
To see the story as it originally appeared on Patch.com, click here.
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