The Florida Department of Transportation is asking for the public's feedback regarding whether the Pensacola Bay Bridge should be tolled to pay for its replacement in the next few years.
Members of the public can complete a bridge replacement toll survey now by visiting www.pensacolabaybridge.com. The survey asks what type of local funding should be used to pay for the replacement of the bridge; an increase in local sales tax, an increase of local property tax or a bridge toll. The survey also asks whether people would be in favor of a toll to pay for the increased cost of a bridge with signature features like enhanced lighting, bridge décor or other architectural features.
FDOT is currently conducting a Project Development and Environmental Study on the bridge because it will have to be replaced in the next six years.
Santa Rosa County Commissioner Bob Cole encouraged residents to fill out the survey to let their voices be heard in the FDOT toll feasibility process. He said he spoke at a recent Gulf Breeze Chamber of Commerce breakfast and a majority of Chamber members were against the tolling of the bridge.
Cole suggested the board draft a resolution opposing the tolling of the bridge.
Jim Williamson said he would be in favor of that if the majority of residents were opposed to the toll, but he would like to wait until the issue went back to the Transportation Planning Organization before the commission considers a resolution.