Thruway, Tappan Zee toll hike slated for 2009, 2010

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Drivers who use the Tappan Zee Bridge may have to brace for another toll increase in addition to the 50 cent hike slated for January.

A committee of the NYS Thruway Authority approved a measure Thursday increasing tolls by 5 percent in 2009 and again in 2010. E-ZPass users will see a smaller increase.

Authority officials say the increase is necessary because rising gas prices are limiting travel. They say that is cutting revenue needed for its $2 billion repair plan. Thruway Director Ramesh Mehta says part of the money will go to reconstruct the Tappan Zee Bridge's ailing deck.

The Thruway Authority will hold a number of hearings about the hike that are open to the public. They are expected to make a decision by March 2008.

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