The price of gas might be getting lower, but drivers passing through Pennsylvania are seeing an increase somewhere else.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 6 percent toll hike back in July – and that increase takes effect on Jan. 3. When it approved the uptick, the commission explained it was to fund debt maintenance for capital improvements.

In other words, improving state highways takes money which is gotten through loans – which have to be secured, and paid off.

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"We have launched a vigorous plan to rebuild and expand the Turnpike," explained Pa. Turnpike CEO Mark Compton, "investing more than $600 million a year in improvements." Compton added that the state is looking at "about 450 miles of roadway that must be rebuilt from the ground up and widened from four lanes to six."

Turnpike officials noted that they've already finished 114 miles of planned improvements but still have 336 miles to go.

The rate increase affects EZ-Pass and cash customers equally, but EZ-Pass customers already pay lower tolls – as much as 35 percent in some cases in Pennsylvania.