Toll numbers crunched and found wanting

Reader's calculations suggest bridge and highway could be paid off within 25 years.

Editor: The Highway Improvement Project from the Second Narrows Bridge to 216 Street will cost $3.3 billion.

The toll on the Port Mann Bridge will be $3 per vehicle. The estimate is that it will take 40 years to pay it off.

My calculation is different. If it takes 40 years to pay off $3.3 billion, that is $82.5 million per year. If there are 120,000 trips per day over the bridge, that is $360,000. If that amount is multiplied by the 365 days in a year, that totals $132 million.

At $132 million a year, it will take 25 years to pay for this project, not 40 years.

A different approach to paying for this project is this. If each of the four million insured vehicles paid a $52 road improvement fee, it would total $208 million per year, and the whole project could be paid for in 16 years.

That would be a cost of $1 per week per vehicle, and there would be no need for any tolling infrastructure.

Bart Verhoef,