HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WSAV) — More than 20,000 people go North to South..or South to North on the Cross Island Parkway every day.
It saves 15 minutes off their commute and for many, it’s worth the $1.25 toll.
But most of those drivers are asking the same question — when can they stop paying the toll?
The 7.5 mile long Cross Island Parkway was built for $81 million back in 1998 to help ease the traffic burden for vacationers trying to get to Sea Pines and Coligny Beach.
But by 2008 the bridge got traffic, but not as much money — losing a million dollars in its first decade.
That’s when the toll was raised to $1.25.
Since then the Parkway has not just covered costs but raised money. On average making $ 7 million a year. Not just covering costs, but pocketing extra. Saving more than $2 million in the first five years of the change.
Now that the Parkway is paying for itself, drivers want to know when will it be paid for.. and what does that mean?
News 3 asked SCDOT which said with some changes in bond and who is running the toll booths, the Cross Island is now on track to pay for itself by the original end of the term in three more years.
That means the toll booths will be taken down in July of 2021 and the parkway will be free to travel for anyone coming to the island.