JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the first time in 31 years, the Florida Department of Transportation will start collecting tolls in Jacksonville. Drivers who use the First Coast Expressway on the Westside of Jacksonville tomorrow will get a bill in the mail.
FDOT placed digital billboards along the toll roads to warn drivers, reading, “Toll Collection Begins July 13.”
Action News Jax first reported on the First Coast Expressway in 2015. After four years, the toll roads were opened on the Westside. The toll road is near State Road 23 and 103rd Street, by Cecil Airport.
FDOT recommends drivers buy a SunPass for toll roads. Action News Jax found it could save drivers more money in the long run. A SunPass lowers the rate by 25 cents each toll road, making it 20 to 60 cents on the First Coast Expressway. The driver can also save time by passing cash lanes.
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Drivers who do not use a SunPass will be charged between 45 and 85 cents on the First Coast Expressway.
“I definitely like the convenience,” Driver Jennifer Francis said. “Not having to go through orange park or down Argyle it’s great.”
“I do think it’s high, from one toll to the next it’s like 60 cents and it’s such a short distance and so many tolls on that road,” driver Michelle Herrick said.
FDOT said the toll fees will first payback the Florida Turnpike for funding the expressway. After that, the money will go towards future projects.
“I hope it helps pay for other roads and schools but it will be an added expense using that shortcut to go to and from work and shopping and restaurants,” Herrick said.
Once all of the local toll roads are complete, the 46-mile stretch will connect Duval, Clay and St Johns Counties.
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