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Firm seeks to raise toll bridge fees in state

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A Michigan-based firm plans to raise the charges next week for each of four toll bridges that it owns in Alabama, including the Foley Beach Express on the coast.

Alinda Roads LLC, based in Detroit, announced it plans to raise the toll for the bridges on the Alabama River Parkway in Millbrook, the Emerald Mountain Expressway in Wetumpka and the Black Warrior Parkway in Tuscaloosa by 50 cents to $1.25 starting March 1. The toll for the Foley Beach Express bridge will rise from $1 to $1.50 for Orange Beach residents and from $2 to $3 for others, the company said in a statement Monday.

The extra money generated by the increased tolls will be used for bridge maintenance and expansion, the company said. Alinda Roads CEO Gordon Jarvis said the company wants to improve and expand its Alabama properties.

The company wants to expedite plans to spend $15 million to $20 million to add a second span to the Foley Beach Express bridge to double its capacity, according to the statement. It has also committed $2 million to the construction of a connector road leading from the bridge to the beach.

and $500,000 to help in the extension of the Foley Beach Express from Alabama Highway 59 to Interstate 10.

"The company has made a sizable investment in Alabama," Jarvis said. "We like the state, how things are going, and we're hoping to find other opportunities for infrastructure in Alabama."

Alinda Roads is owned by the Alinda Infrastructure Fund, a U.S.-based fund that invests in infrastructure assets in North America and Europe.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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