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Residents charge Nice bridge toll increases will pay for ICC

Sunday - 6/26/2011, 7:33am  ET

WASHINGTON - Proposed toll increases that would nearly triple the cost of the toll on the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge by summer 2013 have roiled southern Maryland residents, who say they are unfairly paying the bill for the Intercounty Connector.

Under the proposal, tolls on the bridge, which goes between Charles County, Md. And King George County, Va., would go from $3 to $5 in October and then $8 in July 2013. Tolls at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge are also set to go up, rising to $8 in 2013.

The Maryland Transportation Authority says it needs the toll increases because of existing debts and the growing maintenance demands of aging bridges, tunnels and roads.

Southern Maryland Newspapers Online reports that many residents at a public hearing believed that the increased tolls would go to pay down the debt on the ICC

Some residents said they'd be okay with the tolls if they went to fixing up the Nice bridge.

Business owners say the rate hikes could severely damage their bottom lines, and they fear truckers could stage a "sit out" to avoid crossing into Maryland.

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