Toll road user reacts to changes
Kathy Stewart, WTOP
Chris Browne, Dulles International Airport manager, says the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is beginning the process to replace its aging toll collection system. He says the authority is seeking bids for a new state-of-the-art system, which will probably cost about $15 million.
The 17-year-old toll collection system on the Dulles Toll Road will be replaced with a new one but that won't happen overnight. It will take about two to three years with some of the changes happening in phases.
Browne says the authority will keep the current toll system running for commuters in the meantime.
To ensure the equipment keeps working, including the coin baskets, he says they have extended the contract with current equipment service provider TransCore by two years. TransCore is the only company able to service the equipment.
Drivers will begin to see changes at the toll plazas before any new equipment would be installed. Browne says the exact-change lanes will be converted to E-ZPass lanes. About 80 percent of commuters on the Dulles Toll Road use E-ZPass so the additional electronic tolling lanes will help keep traffic moving, Browne says.
Full-service lanes will still be staffed so drivers will continue to have the option to pay with cash, he says.
The main computer for the toll road will also be replaced at a cost of $1.8 million because, Browne says, it is at risk. The new computer system will serve as a backup computer for any new toll collection system.
MWAA has managed the Dulles Toll Road since 2006 after taking it over from the Virginia Department of Transportation. The toll road consists of 59 tolling collection lanes and about 14-miles of roadway.
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