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Okay, we give: what if you go through the toll booth about once a year?

Posted by on Monday, December 27th, 2010 @ 4:52 pm.

The bridge in question

WABASH TOLL BRIDGE---All kinds of PSAs in the news this weekend regarding the removal of the toll booth at the Wabash River Bridge between New Haven and Mt. Vernon, Ind.

It's apparently a big deal, with an 'automated' tolling booth being installed for ease of folks passing through. Those traveling through the bridge will pass by a transponder that will detect a sticker on the windshield of a vehicle (one that a driver must presumably purchase in advance), the sticker indicating an account out of which the toll will be drawn, which means that a little 'beep' will allow that car to seamlessly pass on by the toll booth without having to stop and pay the toll taker a pesky little dollar toll.

Indiana Department of Transportation seems all pleased with themselves that the tolling should be automatic by New Years' Day.

The big problem we're seeing, however, is that not everybody passes through that bridge every day of their lives...so what happens when you pass through there once a year, kinda like we do when we're on our way to Shawneetown from Evansville for some random activity there? Is there anyone to take a 'one-time' toll?

According to all the news releases about it, it doesn't seem that there will be. It appears, for all the hype, that there are no explanations about how the occasional traveler is going to get across that bridge. Of course, that's probably just something we haven't come across....but isn't that a little bizarre? What's worse is that we're hearing that when you go to www.wabashbridge.com to get yourself a transponder sticker, you have to put a minimum of $50 down. WTH? That'd set us up for the next half-century. There have to be bugs to work out of this...but wow, the size of the bugs.

We have a lot of readers over in that area....we welcome input. Post your thoughts here.

Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=5607

Posted by on Dec 27 2010. Filed under Indiana. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

39 Comments for “Okay, we give: what if you go through the toll booth about once a year?”

  1. Bubba

    Just go on through and if you do it to often they will send you a bill

  2. Hardluck Hannah

    @Angela…I make a few trips over to Evansville during a year’s time to see a physician and dentist. I shop over there too for the holidays. The last trip I made across that bridge, I asked about the transponder. They were set up inside that little office next to the toll booth, taking information, getting auto registration numbers/state and amount of $$$ you wanted to give “in advance”. You have to have the registration plate number for all your vehicles and they will supposedly mail you a transponder for each one. It was my understanding that the transponder is free until Jan 01, then you have to pay for it. I have no idea how much, I didn’t ask. Mine was free.

    I did inquire what people traveling across country that wasn’t aware of this change at the toll bridge would do if they came upon the bridge after Jan 01, and the reply I got was “we have no idea”. I commented that it appeared as if the change might be a lot more costly to Indiana than the salaries that were going to be lost by the toll bridge attendants and that remark was totally agreed with too. Then I jokingly commentd that I’d be willing to bet a farm in Texas (which I don’t have) that some politician was going to make a killing on that deal with the new system, and to this I got a reply of “Yeah, and his name is Mitch Daniels”.

    Personally, I think this change is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of. Maybe Indiana is just trying to make it easier to us Illinois folks to get across the bridge with less trouble so we’ll spend more money over there. I read in this morning’s paper where Indiana really has a problem with their state budget (and what state doesn’t) because sales tax is dropping so rapidly…due to the Internet…of course. It couldn’t possibly be because people are out of work and have no income…could it? But then again, with gasoline prices what they are, who wouldn’t use the Internet when they can to buy what they need? I do.

  3. Top Cat

    I have been thinking about internet buying myself Hannah.
    As for the Pay Toll Bridge ,it may cause them to have less shoppers in Ind.I don’t go there often unless to do some shopping and mostly when we have someone in the hospital.
    But it won’t bother me to much as I can go to Paducah and not pay anything.
    They have Great Doctors,Hospitals and Shopping.Take that Greedy Ind! :choler:

  4. ambu_u_2

    Four magnets and a piece of black plastic…. 8) (assuming they are going to use photos for the cars that dont have a transponder.)

    Be thankful you have only one toll, the few times a year I travel to Orlando, to say the airport, its about 8 bucks EACH WAY in tolls.

  5. John Newman

    It is your “gubmint” at its finest! Someone has a great idea, it helps a friend make money and they move on it. Nobody thinks things through. You can see it from the Feds all the way down to the local level!

  6. Hardluck Hannah

    @John Newman…you got that right, my good friend. But it’s going to take God Almighty to fix it, I do believe. There doesn’t seem to be anybody smart enough or popular enough to help.

  7. SouthernILGirl

    I wondered about this myself. The Daily Register article made it sound like if you only went through 1-2 times per year you were okay, but more than that and they would send you a bill.

    Which begs the question: who is going to log the plates of every person who goes through without a sticker to see who is a repeat traveler? Won’t that person have to have, at a minimum, typing and excel skills….. which means more education than someone who leans out and says “50 cents” and pushes a button.
    Won’t that mean more wages spent on this?
    And are they really going to spend the cost of a stamp and envelope and wages to send me a letter to tell them I owe them 50 cents from my 3rd trip through?
    And shouldn’t everyone get 1-2 free trips across if infrequent travelers do?

  8. whitedog

    There is recognition software where the camera recognizes and runs every plate it sees. This is used in some police agencies to hit and alert automatically on any car plate it passes (moving or parked) where the registered owner is wanted, stolen car, etc. and throws the information up on the computer screen. Example is the TV show “Parking Wars” where the software is to alert on excessive parking tickets and requires the parking authority to boot the vehicle. I’m sure the bridge software is to identify multiple passes over the bridge without a sticker. I don’t know for sure just a guess.

  9. oblongil

    When will the “officals” learn that they are saving money by putting people out of work so they can stay home and draw welfare for free. Duh

  10. SouthernILGirl

    I’d like to know what the magic number of free trips is before I plan any outings to evansville… if I am going to get a ticket for shopping there, I will go to Paducah instead!!

  11. wow

    It helps big brother to keep track of you and where u are at and what time ur there

  12. iptf

    Just another way to cause people there jobs

  13. A Pismo Klamm

    The Chicago tollway systems provides a website you can use to pay the tolls you missed. You just have to remember which tolls, which direction you were traveling and the time of day. Pretty easy if you take care of it the same day. But if you forget, you get stuck with tolls for the entire system…IN should do the same thing.

  14. Aberfoyle

    I passed through over the holiday and ask. I myself only pass through a couple of times a year. They said that one vehicle is allowed two trips across a year. If you go over that they will send you a bill with an extra fee attached to it.

  15. Top Cat

    I guess we could go through Henderson Ky. and not pay anything.

  16. wow

    Admin did u catch the article in the daily register on jackie buckner the million dollar warrant. If u would want to post a pic for reader so if the see him that can call the police ucan get it on the illinois dept. of correction web site IDo urge people not to to try any thing with him he is a very dangerous man the last guy who shot him end up with a fracture head after buckner took the gun away

  17. Your Fate

    Cross over through Crossville into New Harmony

  18. Hardluck Hannah

    @Angela, you’re right about that bridge being scary, Ang. I bought a transponder and I’ll use the bridge going through Mt. Vernon. But if I lived in Gallatin County close to the bridge at Old Town, I’d probably go that way. Six of one and half a dozen of another either way. I don’t like driving over any large body of water like the Ohio at Paducah, the Wabash is bad enough. 😉

  19. Dennis J. Bridwell

    Is this that road that you take when you turn off of 45 North of ElDorado to go East to Evansville? I have went that way a couple of times but I actually go to Louisville KY more than I go to Evansville so I go up and catch 64, much better road for making time on.

  20. buddyjack

    The state of Indiana just gathered a large amount of money from all the people, including me, who were stupid enough to send them $20 in advance for crossing over the bridge. I wonder how much they collected. Many people from So. IL cross that bridge daily to get back and forth to work. I called the INdiana Dept of Transportation and was told they don’t yet have a procedure for those who cross over without paying.They will just wait and see how bad of a problem that it is. I am predicting that some goober will go over and shoot the cameras out or cover them up. Oh well.

  21. Common Sense

    I wouldn’t mind paying $20. in advance, but on their website, they want a minimum of $50. that would last me about 5 years.

  22. SouthernILGirl

    Commonsense – $50 would last me 10 years, easily! I’ll be taking the Old Town bridge instead – it really isn’t much more of a drive AND Peak Bros is on the way that way!!

  23. Beth

    That bridge was paid for decades ago!

  24. 1.68

    Beth it is the maintenance on the bridge that is needing paid for as well as a new bridge after the life of the bridge expires. It is a trust fund account.

  25. Hardluck Hannah

    I would imagine there will be hidden cameras all over the place to try and keep vandalism down when that project gets operational. I don’t think Indiana is really prepared well enough to do what they’ve elected to do with that bridge, but what the hell, let them learn the hard way.

    As for the hidden cameras they will probably put in place. All a camera does is take pictures. Anybody can drive a rental car across the bridge, remove the temp plate from it, and thoroughly cover themselves so as not to be recognized…then take care of that transponder dealy. I may start going through Henderson myself…or I may just start going to Paducah instead of Evansville. Mileage is about the same anyway and gas is cheaper in Kentucky…isn’t it?

    And Beth is right…that bridge was MORE than paid for many years ago.

  26. goneforgood

    The money collected is not to pay for the bridge. It is to pay for the maintenance of the bridge. It takes a ton of money very year to keep the bridge intact and safe. Yes, people will lose jobs but they should eventually save some money. You can not complain when government wastes money and then complain when it finds a way to save some. Actually, most of us find a way to complain, either way.

  27. Moonrner53

    Years ago KY said that the Shawneetown bridge was paid off and took down the toll booths,Id say this bridge is paid off to.But Ind wants to keep money comming in for Maintance.

  28. Yoshimi Pujols

    Well said, Goneforgood–so many people will complain no matter what! Indiana could raise everybody’s taxes to pay to maintain the bridge–the money has to come from somewhere–but instead chooses to collect money only from those folks who use the bridge. True, if you’re an Illinois resident you might just prefer they make Indiana folks pay more tax, but still, only those who use the bridge are paying, and those who only use it once or twice aren’t paying, and its not a big deal either way. Although given the cost of the toll I do agree that a 50 dollar upfront deposit is way too much.

  29. maloy

    The removal of the manual toll was very idiotic. They cannot fine you for not paying like in Chicago. They have to have a manual pay station along with the pass system to demand payment. the only thing they can legally do now is send you a bill for the 0.50 toll. So they are really screwing themselves. There is no way that any type of prosecution will hold up in court with out the option of manual payment. So why then should anyone pay for that sticker. Every tollway that offers a pass system also has manual stations.

  30. CardsFan

    A friend of mine went over the bridge on Sunday and there was a road sign, kind of like the signs that tell your speed, that said “Bill in mail” … I went over the bridge three weeks ago and they were installing cameras … I say, let them send me a bill for $1 … They have to pay $0.44 for a stamp to mail it …

  31. Jeb

    SOMEONE SAID TO CROSS THE RIVER AT NEW HARMONY. YOU MIGHT WANT TO GET OUT OF YOUR CAR AND GO DOWN TO THE RIVER AND LOOK AT THE UNDERNEATH SIDE OF THE BRIDGE. WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE MIGHT CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT CROSSING THAT BRIDGE—EVER!

  32. Curt

    soo, What if i am pulling a trailer of my family’s accross the bridge who gets the bill then the owner of the vehicle or the family member. Better yet I am going to test drive a car at expressway and go over the bridge and see who gets the toll charge. You can bet they will be getting the finger in my photo

  33. my?

    I heard that if you went over it more then once a month they would send you a bill for $5 unless you have the thing to scan. But I know when I went over the bridge the other night, the flash from the camera was so bright, it could cause an accident if a person didn’t know what it was.

  34. Hardluck Hannah

    I stopped by the toll bridge office about the middle of the December. I own two vehicles and didn’t know the plate number on the other one, but told them I’d call them back with the info. The other vehicle wasn’t in my possession at the time and with the holidays, I simply failed to call back with the registration for the 2nd vehicle. I called their 800 number on Jan 3, got a live person that asked me point out if my call was in regard to the Wabash Bridge, I said YES and she directed me to another number. I got a recording that said to leave my name and number and they would call me back. IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. They cashed my advance check even though I still don’t have a transponder yet. Indiana is so screwed up and like a lot of other states, hurting for revenue, so they are grasping at straws to get $$$ any way they can. They weren’t prepared for the camera and removing the employees at the toll booth, but try telling them that. I also read in the Courier the other day that Indiana residents can no longer go to a license bureau and buy their vehicle plates, they have to do it all by mail. How’s for that for service?

  35. RED84

    I decided that I had better go ahead and sign up today, and when I did I filled out an online form and registered 2 different vehicles and only had to pay a min payment of $25 8) which is still a lot more than I’ll need but at least it’s not $50.

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