PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Beachgoers will not be asked to pay the $1 Bob Sikes toll to Pensacola Beach this fourth of July holiday weekend. District 4 Commissioner Robert Bender announced late Wednesday that he will utilize District 4 discretionary funds to pay the toll from midnight Thursday, July 4 to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 7. Starting at midnight, all lanes will be open for all drivers, with no need to stop at the toll booth. SunPass holders will also not be charged during this period for Bob Sikes Bridge usage ONLY.
When asked what prompted the use of his district’s funding to pay the toll, Bender responded, “The past two weekends have showed us that not stopping to pay cash via the Toll-by-Plate system dramatically helped to reduce travel time to the beach. We had very positive feedback on the greatly improved drive time during high volume periods when only electronic payment was in use, but I also understand that there was confusion on when cash payments were accepted. By District 4 paying the tolls this weekend, it allows us to move traffic faster and lets everyone enjoy the beach without worrying about the payment process.” He continued, “This is not a permanent solution, but gets us all through this busy weekend with one less worry as we work on a more long-term fix.”