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Connecticut Highway Tolls Under Consideration

While there are several bills pending to install tolls again on state highways, some lawmakers say the state can't be trusted with toll revenues.

 

With the state budget on the ropes and the cost of highway repairs in Connecticut mounting, several bills to reinstitute highway tolls in the state are making their way through the General Assembly. But critics of the idea told the legislature's Transportation Committee on Monday that state officials can't be trusted with the money that new highway tolls would generate, according to a report Tuesday in the Hartford Courant. 

The committee held a public hearing on several bills filed this session to install tolls on state highways. State Rep. Steven Mikutel, D-Griswold, told the committee that while the state desperately needs funds to fix its highways, the money raised by tolls probably wouldn't be earmarked for that work.

"History shows you really can't trust us," Mikutel testified, according to the Courant. "The General Assembly has raided the special transportation fund before."

Legislators in so-called "border towns" in the state, such as Enfield, said they are worried residents in their communities would get hit the hardest by the tolls. But proponents said if tolls aren't resurrected in Connecticut the state's gas tax would have to increase to help pay for highway maintenance, the newspaper reported.

The state eliminated highway tolls in the mid-1980s after a tractor-trailer truck crashed into a line of cars at a Stratford toll booth, killing several people.

Matt February 26, 2013 at 02:29 PM
I'm all for it. Every state around us has tolls yet our highways are an interstate free for all. Take a drive on any Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the summer. The out of state plates outnumber the CT plates. And none of them are coming to CT. They're all passing through CT. We're just a free conduit to everywhere else. Toll plazas on 95, 91, 84, and 15 at the state lines. With the invention of EZ-Pass Express lanes, you don't even need to slow down below 65mph anymore. The on and off ramps immediately surrounding them should have them as well so you can't sneak around them. As for rates, there could be two rates. One for coming in only, and a higher one for coming in and passing all the way through. Unfortunately the politicians have a point. They can't trust themselves.

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