Changes coming to toll plaza near OIA to cost drivers more


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A toll booth thousands of drivers pass through every day is getting closer to being torn down, and WFTV obtained renderings of the changes.

Last January, the Expressway Authority said it wanted to tear down the toll plaza by the Orlando International Airport.

Reporter Racquel Asa discovered that unless a driver has an E-pass or a Sunpass, the changes could have drivers paying more.

Construction crews will start tearing down the booths sometime before the summer. Once that happens, drivers should be prepared to pay up somewhere else.

"I think it is ridiculous having two toll booths," said resident Tom Shoriak.

Shoriak lives off the Beachline.

Most days, he said he waits through the same congestion, even with a Sunpass attached to his windshield.

"And if you're trying to get to the airport and you do have a Sunpass, the lanes are too far over to make it over safely," said Shoriak.

But just because the toll is going away, that doesn't mean the cost is too.

A $1.25 will be added to the plaza four miles away.

Drivers who don't travel that far will pay at four new toll booths that will be built at ramps.

But it's E-pass and Sunpass users who will see the biggest benefit.

Based on the renderings from the Expressway Authority, WFTV found there are two areas where drivers will get a partial refund if they travel short distances on the Beachline.

It's a change the tourist industry said will address the complaints businesses have heard for years.

"This is one of the things they've heard complaints about, not only because of the tolls themselves, but because of the backups on the expressway," said I-Drive Business Group rep. Susan Godorov.

Once the toll booths are torn down, it'll take about two years to get the project finished.