Toll charges cause low use of Northern Beltway
SANTIAGO. Few vehicles travel each day along the Avenida Circunvalacion Norte (the Northern Beltway or By-pass) due to the high price of tolls that were installed for the road, opened on 24 February of this year by President Danilo Medina.
Reporters from this newspaper counted 60 vehicles, among cars, SUVs, pickups, small buses and trucks that yesterday paid the toll during one hour, which is equal to an average of 1,440 vehicles a day.
Nevertheless, the Minister of Public Works, Gonzalo Castillo, had said during the inauguration of the project that some 10,000 vehicles a day would use the road.
Other vehicles that use a part of the Beltway do not cross the toll plaza, since they use alternative routes to avoid payment, or because they are going to other places that do not require crossing the toll plaza to reach their destinations.
In the meantime, the PLD deputy, Victor Suarez, announced that he would submit this week a legislative proposal to the Chamber of Deputies in order for the government to weight the possibility of reducing the high cost of the tolls on the Northern Beltway.
Suarez said that the high prices that have to be paid to use the avenue limit the use of the project constructed at a cost of US$130 million.
According to the toll rates, cars, vans, SUVs and pickups pay RD$150; small buses and minibuses should pay RD$270; while big buses and vehicles of two axles (trucks) will pay RD$360. Vehicles of three or more axles have to pay RD$600.
The majority of the drivers of heavy vehicles continue to use the Estrella Sadhala Avenue in Santiago, since they refuse to pay the tolls, according to what the reporters were able to find out yesterday.
Recently the president of the truckers’ union in Santiago, Rafael Tejada, said that many of their members told them that they would continue to use the Estrella Sadhala because they were not able to pay RD$600 for each departure or arrival to the city.
The Circunvalacion Norte has a distance of 24 kilometers from the entrance in Canabacoa to the community of La Delgada in the municipality of Villa Gonzalez, where it connects with the Joaquin Balaguer Highway.
Category: DR News |