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MDX votes to raise tolls on Dolphin, Airport expressways in Miami-Dade

A late vote Tuesday approving toll increases on State Roads 836 and 112 may be tentative.

Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) chairman Maurice Ferre said he was so distressed by the 7-6 vote that it was possible the 13-member board will revisit the issue and perhaps reduce the toll rates at the next agency meeting.

“I don’t want to leave the impression of a divided board,” said Ferre as the 3 1/2-hour meeting came to an end at MDX headquarters near Miami International Airport.

Ferre’s comments came shortly after board members voted, and moments after board member Maritza Gutierrez tried unsuccessfully to amend the plan with a proposal that would have left existing toll rates essentially unchanged.

The vote was the culmination of a contentious meeting in which about two dozen speakers pleaded with MDX board members to delay or eliminate the toll increase.

“All I hear is more tolls, more concrete and more cars,” said Cutler Bay Mayor Edward MacDougall, one of the speakers who addressed the MDX board.

Carlos Garcia, co-founder of the anti-toll group, voiced the general feeling of people who spoke, urging board members to delay the increase.

“Please hold off,” said Garcia, who like other group members wore a T-shirt with signs saying “Enough is Enough.”

Once the public hearing ended, it was clear that not all board members agreed with raising the tolls. At least one member mentioned the possibility of delaying the vote. But Gutierrez’s proposal to amend the plan was the only serious move to modify the increase.

More from Alfonso Chardy here.