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Motorists looking to take the International Bridge across the St. Mary's River to Canada will need to pack more quarters starting April 1, as tolls will rise to $4, a 50-cent hike above the current $3.50.

Approval for the hike was made more than five years ago, in November 2013, per a statement from the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Authority. On April 1, 2014, rates jumped to $3.50 from $3. This is the second and final rate hike under that plan.

The additional money will be spent on "operational and capital improvement" efforts.

Peter Petainen, general manager of the International Bridge Administration, says in a statement "the money is used to ensure the bridge is safe and available for use by all customers. This is an investment in the sustainable future of our vital link between the U.S. and Canada."

The rate hike will affect motorists on both sides of the bridge; the Canadian rate will be reset every six months, due to fluctuations in the U.S.-Canada exchange rate. 

Any rate increases beyond this would require new board approval.

The full schedule of new toll fees is available at the Sault Bridge website. 

According to the latest numbers available, based on January and February, there have been some 168,045 bridge crossings in 2019, which is down about 15 percent from that time last year.

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