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    Free parkway ride ends Saturday

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2001

    The Suncoast Parkway becomes a toll road on Sunday at 6 a.m., project officials said.

    Motorists passing through the mainline toll plaza between state roads 54 and 52 will have to pay $1, project spokeswoman Joanne Hurley said. Anyone exiting at State Road 54 will be charged 25 cents.

    The remaining toll booth plazas on the 32-mile section of road, which opened Feb. 3, will be phased into operation over the next six weeks, Hurley said.

    "Motorists will still be able to drive a long way on the Suncoast Parkway without encountering tolls," she said.

    Eventually, when all booths are up and charging, it will cost drivers $2 to travel the 32 miles between State Road 50 and Veterans Expressway in northern Hillsborough. It will cost another dollar to travel the northernmost 10 miles of the parkway, north of State Road 50 to U.S. 98, when they are opened this summer.

    Toll violations will be enforced by photo, and violators are subject to a fine of up to $100, Hurley said.

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