A toll hike for the Golden Gate Bridge was approved that will increase the regular toll from $5 to $6. That is crazy! Only about 6 years ago, in 2002, the bridge toll was only $3. The toll will now have essentially doubled in only 6 to 7 years!  That just doesn’t seem right to me.  Could the cost of bridge operations and maintenance really have doubled during the same time period?  I doubt it, but that’s not why they are raising the toll.

The reason for the hike is to generate funds for the replacement of Doyle Drive, the raised freeway leading up to the span that extends from the Marina District through the Presidio and finally onto the bridge.  The bridge is itself is fine, it’s the infrastructure around it that is starting to deteriorate and need replacement.  I can only imagine how much it would cost to rebuild the entire bridge!

The actual cost of the bridge was only $35 million and construction was completed in 1937.  That is only $568.3 million in today’s dollars (inflation-adjusted).  But if building the new Eastern span of the Bay Bridge today is a $6.2 billion proposition, then rebuilding the Golden Gate would cost about $10 billion today due to the higher level of difficulty in building across the mouth of the bay.  Let’s hope that with maintenance full replacement of the Golden Gate Bridge will never be necessary, because they may raise the tolls to about $50.

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