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Bridge tolls to go up Those with U.S. cash will pay 50 cents more to cross border

If you are paying with American money, tolls will increase by 50 cents for passenger cars on the Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids and Lewiston-Queenston bridges as of Feb. 1.

For those using Canadian money, rates will remain the same.

The prolonged weakness of the U.S. dollar against other world currencies is the reason for the increase, the first since 1998, according to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

"We look at it as an adjustment rather than a toll increase," said Thomas Garlock, general manager of the bridge commission.

Round-trip passenger car tolls will go from $2.50 to $3 U.S. They will remain at $3.50 Canadian.

The rate for the average five-axle commercial truck will increase from $13 to $17 U.S. It will remain at $20 Canadian.

The current rates are the same as the Peace Bridge charges, Garlock said.

"We wanted to announce it ahead of time to give people plenty of time to adjust," Garlock said.

"The commission has been successful in controlling costs to our customers, but we have held the line on the diminished U.S. dollar as long as we could.

"This modest adjustment will permit the commission to be financially stable and proceed with aggressive physical improvements to our facilities," he said.

e-mail: ternst@buffnews.com

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