By Bob Allen

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Motorists will have to dig a bit deeper in a few days to pay for travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Turnpike tolls will increase by 6 percent in 2016, largely to repay loans taken out to help fund roadwork projects to improve the 75-year-old, 550-mile turnpike under legislation passed in 2007 and 2013.

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The higher rates go into effect on Sunday, Jan. 3.

“I think it’s ridiculous; they go up every year,” says driver Kevin Newcomer.

Tolls have risen every year since 2009.

The 6 percent increase means E-ZPass users will have to pay up to a $1.16 more while cash customers could see an increase as high as a $1.80.

“I don’t think the roads are getting any better and I think they go up too much for the service that they give, so I’m a little disappointed because I have to use them quite often,” said driver Kevin Patton.

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Some drivers say tolls in Pennsylvania are already higher than Ohio, now they are going up even more.

“I know we spend about $12 in Ohio, and it’s about $15 more, so it’s around $30 to get through Pennsylvania,” said driver John Halkiabakis.

The commission expects to impose annual fare increases of 3 percent to 6 percent until 2044.

The Turnpike says E-ZPass customers now account for three-quarters of its traffic. E-ZPass motorists pay lower tolls.

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