HALIFAX -- It may cost more to cross the bridges from Halifax to Dartmouth in 2022.

Halifax Harbour Bridges is asking the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to increase tolls, beginning in 2022. It would be the first toll increase in 10 years.

The proposed increase would see:

  • An increase of 20 cents per crossing for regular passenger cars using MACPASS, from 80 cents to one dollar.
  • An increase of 25 cents per crossing for cash customers from one dollar to $1.25.
  • An increase of 25% per axle for commercial vehicles using MACPASS or cash.

No changes are proposed for buses.

In a release, Halifax Harbour Bridges wrote the increase is required to fund the 10-year plan to rehabilitate and maintain the two bridges, which are expected to cost more than $280 million.

The Macdonald Bridge and the MacKay Bridge are 66 and 51 years old respectively.

“HHB is dedicated to providing safe, efficient and reliable bridge travel. The bridges and other infrastructure are aging and this toll increase will help ensure safety and efficiency is maintained," said Steve Snider, HHB CEO, in a news release on Friday.

"We’re doing the steel and paint work on the MacDonald. We’re going to have to do the bearing work and some concrete work on the MacDonald. If we go to the McKay, on McKay Bridge, we need to look at restoring the concrete on the approaches, that’s the deck and the concrete that’s underneath."

While some understand the potential price increase is for bridge upkeep, others say it shouldn’t be a discussion while so many are struggling during a global pandemic.

"That’s a lot, and then with the pandemic and everything like that, it’s a lot of money to be able to push out when people are trying to save their jobs," said Cheryl Croxen, a resident in Dartmouth.

"They have maintenance to do on the bridge and they have projects for the upkeep of them, so I presume it’s in order to do those," said Tom Scanlan, a Dartmouth resident.

If the application is approved, the toll increase would come into effect on, or after Jan. 3, 2022.