Ending of Tolls Costs Jobs, Charitable Donations

DECATUR (AP) - The ending of tolls on a Missouri River bridge at Decatur, Neb., will mean savings for motorists, but toll-takers are out of work and some payments to charities will end. Motorists lined up Saturday night to be among the first to make the free driver across the bridge, which links Iowa and Nebraska. The states of Iowa and Nebraska assumed bridge ownership from the Burt County Bridge Commission. Since the bridge opened in 1955, tolls have funded maintenance, but those costs now will come from tax dollars. Bridge commissioner John Maryott says motorists who use the bridge frequently will save about $100 a month, and trucking companies will save thousands. But 14 part-time toll-takers will lose jobs and the organization will end charity donations.