Drivers can now keep their pocket change crossing over 12th Ave toll bridge

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FARGO, N.D. Many drivers crossing the toll bridge along 12th Avenue North connecting North Fargo to Moorhead and were caught a bit off guard. Friday, the cities of Fargo and Moorhead were handed the "keys" to the toll bridge. The toll sign was removed, but we found that many are still stopping prepared to hand over their spare change.

"I didn't know it was free, that's why I dug out the money,” said Marie Mitchell, who works in Fargo.

And, its cash that Mitchell no longer needs to hand over on the drive to work each week.

"My pocketbook says thank you,” Mitchell told us.

Open to all, drivers are taking advantage of this route crossing the Red River to find no charge. Since 1986 when the toll first opened for business, hundreds of drivers have emptied their pockets to cross over.

"I think I remember a quarter,” said Hal Ecker, who lives in Fargo. “And, as tolls increase you kind of tend not to use it so much."

Ecker is one of the many drivers using the newly free bridge. Not only is it a convenient ride heading into work, but running out for errands too.

"Running from Northport over to the Moorhead Hornbacher's probably saves half the time instead of running up to 40th Avenue and around,” said Ecker. “This is pretty convenient."

Now that it's free, Mitchell and other drivers plan to use the bridge much more.

Many businesses around the toll bridge didn't want to go on camera, but told us they've seen an increase of drivers on the roads and are starting to see a boom in business.

The toll booth is set to be removed officially tomorrow.