ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Where Does The Money From Toll Bridges Go?

Updated on September 30, 2010
 

As a resident of the city of San Francisco, I regularly find myself paying tolls to get back home after traveling by car in the surrounding Bay Area. Every time that I cross a toll bridge, I look around at the number of cars surrounding me and think about the massive amount of money that must get collected every single day on each bridge in the area. That has definitely caused me to wonder where exactly that money is going.

After doing some research, what I have discovered is that the money that is generated from toll bridges around the United States is typically used to fund highway projects. In some cases, a toll bridge might be erected for another purpose. However, most bridges collect tolls specifically to help defray the costs of the bridges themselves as well as to pay for some of the costs of operating the state highway organizations.

Looking at the San Francisco Bay area alone, here are some of the things that the toll monies are used for:

  • Construction on and around the bridges where there are tolls. You would be surprised how often it is necessary for one of these bridges to be under some sort of construction. Accidents happen and the bridge needs to be repaired or congestion causes a need to increase the size of the bridge. This type of construction is paid for using the monies collected via the tolls.
  • Construction of new bridges. The bridges that exist today weren't always around and they aren't always going to be the only ones there are. New bridges are constructed periodically using the money that is generated on tolls from the existing bridges.
  • Bridge maintenance. With so many cars going over these bridges on a regular basis, it is of the utmost importance that the bridges be kept in safe and working condition at all times. This maintenance doesn't come cheap. It is paid for by the money collected from tolls.
  • Seismic retrofitting. In the San Francisco Bay Area there is always the risk of an earthquake. Back in 1989, an earthquake seriously damaged the East Bay Bridge and caused one death to a passenger. In order to limit the impact of earthquakes to the bridges, the bridges undergo seismic retrofitting which makes them safer in case an earthquake does occur. Toll monies pay for that to happen.
  • Aesthetics. Cities don't want to look ugly. To improve the way that the bridges and the area surrounding them look takes some money. When changes take place to beautify the bridge area, you can thank the toll money for paying for that.

These same types of things are what would be paid for by most tolls collected on bridges throughout the nation. However it should be noted that not all toll bridges are operated by state highway organizations. Some toll bridges are operated by quasi-governmental agencies that win approval to collect tolls to fund specific projects or construction. These toll bridges are usually temporary (a few years) and the money generated goes specifically to the project for which the toll was approved.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Justin 

    6 years ago

    I think that this is crap, they tell us that it cost this much in maintaining the bridge and what not, but do you acutually pay attention to the people doing the work you usually see one guy pushing dirt around and two other guys standing talking, another eating, its ridiculous. They say californina is broke its a lie. If you look at Sanfrancisco alone, I believe they generatate 8million dollars quarterly on just parking citations, that's not including speeding tickets, seatbelt tickets, etc... where is that money going I ask. I tell people don't believe what the government says where the money is going. It goes in their pockets that's where it goes....

  • profile image

    jenny 

    7 years ago

    each day 118,000 passengers cross this bridge. beside pay repairs and people working in the bridge, it don't take millions of dollars. don't forget there are people owning bridge stockl.

  • ParadigmShift... profile image

    ParadigmShift... 

    10 years ago from San Jose, CA

    Thanks for this information, but I still find it hard to believe that a million people cross the Bay Bridge every day, paying four dollars each, and California has a budget deficit?? Maybe the governator should trade in that Hummer and get a Prius! And give some money back to our schools!

  • abowie profile image

    abowie 

    10 years ago from San Francisco

    I was wondering where all that money goes the other day! As a resident myself I often wonder how much of our money simply goes to painting the Golden Gate Bridger "gold."

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)