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Your Pa. Turnpike tolls are going up

The 6 percent hike in tolls will take effect in January 2018 and will fund improvements to the road system.

Automobiles drive into the Fort Washington Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in a 2004 file photo.
Automobiles drive into the Fort Washington Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in a 2004 file photo.Read moreAP Photo/Chris Gardner

Motorists will be paying more to travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike starting in January.

A 6 percent increase for both E-ZPass holders and cash customers will take effect Jan. 7, the Turnpike Commission announced Tuesday.

"The Turnpike Commission is obligated by state law to augment Pennsylvania's infrastructure needs; in fact, the commission has delivered $5.65 billion in toll-backed funding to PennDOT in the last decade," said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. "Today, our annual payments of $450 million enable PennDOT to provide operating support to mass-transit authorities across the state to help ease future fare increases for riders."

There are a few exceptions.

Drivers headed through the Delaware River Bridge westbound cashless tolling point in Bucks County will not see an increase. On the Northeast Extension, the Keyser Avenue and Clarks Summit toll plazas in Lackawanna County and the Findlay Connector in Allegheny and Washington Counties will not see the increase until April 2018.

The increases will be used to support public transportation and to improve the condition of the 550-mile toll-road system, parts of which are 77 years old, the commission stated.

So far, the commission has overseen the reconstruction of more than 124 miles of its system. An additional 20 miles is being rebuilt and widened, and improvements are in the works for an additional 90 miles.

"At the same time, we must also continue to invest in our aging tollway system and make it safer, wider, and smoother for our customers," Compton said.

Also Tuesday, the Turnpike Commission announced the state's chief transportation official, and Montgomery County native, Leslie Richards would serve as board chair. Richards, of Whitemarsh, has served as a Montgomery County commissioner and member of SEPTA's board, and was appointed by Governor Wolf as Pennsylvania's Secretary of Transportation in 2015.