Harris County Toll Road Authority to begin collecting tolls again starting April 29

Starting at 6 a.m. April 29, drivers on Harris County's toll roads will once again have to pay tolls. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Starting at 6 a.m. April 29, drivers on Harris County's toll roads will once again have to pay tolls. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Starting at 6 a.m. April 29, drivers on Harris County's toll roads will once again have to pay tolls. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The Harris County Toll Road Authority will begin collecting tolls again on all toll roads within the county starting at 6 a.m. on April 29.

The decision to restart collections was made in a unanimous vote by Harris County commissioners at an April 28 meeting. Commissioners voted to suspend all toll collections in March to provide economic relief to residents in the wake of job losses spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.

The suspension of tolls was originally set to stay in effect as long as the disaster declaration was in place in Harris County, but commissioners agreed to bring collections back sooner. A separate item on the April 28 agenda involves extending the local disaster declaration until May 20.

Roughly 95% of HCTRA's annual revenue comes from tolls with most of the remaining five percent coming from interest. Over the course of the 2018-19 fiscal year, the authority brought in about $828 million in toll revenues, $334 million of which went to operating expenses and $135 million of which went to support local mobility projects across the county's four precincts.

Officials also discussed plans to map out the use of roughly $426 million in federal relief money provided to Harris County by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. At the April 28 meeting, Chief Budget Officer Bill Jackson said that money cannot be used to reimburse lost toll revenue.

"It’s fairly broad ranging as long as it had something to do with the COVID[-19] virus, but it does not cover supplanting lost revenue," Jackson said.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


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