Record Number of Cars Come To Island

Published on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Record Number of Cars Come To Island

Escambia County is excited to announce 22,909 vehicles passed through the Bob Sikes Toll Plaza on Saturday, May 7, 2022, setting a new record. The previous record of 22,555 vehicles occurred on July 1, 2017. During 2021, the Bob Sikes Toll Plaza experienced two days with over 22,000 vehicles including June 26, 2021, with 22,267 vehicles.

Escambia County District 4 Robert Bender, whose district encompasses Pensacola Beach, said that while it isn't uncommon to have heavy traffic during the month of May, he was pleased to see the high volume of cars headed out to Pensacola Beach.

“We’ll usually see our busiest traffic days in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day,” said Commissioner Bender. “Locals are heading out to enjoy the beach before it gets too hot, but as has been proven with the rise in tourism numbers this past year, more people than ever are coming out to vacation on Pensacola Beach. Since the Bob Sikes Toll Plaza switched to electronic tolling, we have seen a substantial decrease in congestion getting onto the beach and not backing up onto Highway 98.”

The Bob Sikes Toll Plaza switched to electronic tolling on March 20, 2020. Since then, travel times to get onto the beach have been reduced significantly. The Escambia County Transportation and Traffic Operations division monitored the flow of traffic over the weekend and noted that on May 7, travel time from Gulf Breeze to Pensacola Beach between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. was under 10 minutes. In addition to the 22,909 vehicles passing through the toll bridge, 6,603 pedestrians and 472 bicycles crossed at the intersection of Pensacola Beach Boulevard and Fort Pickens Road.

"Previously, we would see traffic backed up through Gulf Breeze and across the Chappie James Bridge," said Commissioner Bender. "With this decrease in travel time to get to the beach, we are confident we can continue to provide a positive beachgoing experience. We look forward to a successful summer season and welcoming visitors from all over to our beach."

To report beach traffic issues via the Pensacola Beach Traffic Hotline, please call 850-595-0862 or email

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