Heading to the Florida Keys? Card Sound Road bridge toll is about to go up

Drivers heading into the Florida Keys from Miami-Dade County traveling on Card Sound Road will see a small increase in tolls starting next month.

Monroe County raised the toll for most vehicles — two-axle cars and trucks — from $1.50 to $1.54 effective Oct. 1, according to a press release issued Monday.

Card Sound Road is one of two arteries leading to and from the Florida Keys from Florida City in Miami-Dade County. The other, and more frequently-traveled, is the 18-mile stretch of U.S. 1.

Monroe County tore down a manned tollbooth at the foot of Card Sound Bridge in August 2017. The tollbooth was built in 1969. Before it was removed, the toll was $1.

An electronic monitoring system that collects tolls by the state’s Toll-By-Plate and SunPass programs began operations in October 2018. Toll-By-Plate users, however, are charged the toll in addition to a $2.50 administrative fee that is mailed, according to the county’s website.

“The toll helps fund maintenance costs of the road and future repair and replacement of the five bridges along Card Sound Road,” Kristen Livengood, Monroe County spokeswoman, said in a statement.

A discount toll is available to Monroe residents who frequently take Card Sound Road and use SunPass, Livengood said. Drivers don’t need to sign up for it, rather, a 40-percent rebate kicks in after any calendar month that 28 or more one-way trips through the toll were made, she said.

There is also a $375 annual pass for frequent users driving two-axle cars with a SunPass transponder that is slated to begin Jan. 1. Information about signing up for the annual pass will be “released later this year,” Livengood said.

The toll increase also applies to larger vehicles traveling Card Sound Road. The new toll for three-axle vehicles is $3.06, for four-axle vehicles $4.08 and for five-axle vehicles, $5.10. That is a .06-cent, .08-cent and .10-cent increase respectively, Livengood said.

Any additional axle is $1.02.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.