Yesterday the House passed a bill that would allow tolls to be placed somewhere on Route 11 to help finance the highway's completion. CT News Junkie has more:
Shortly after midnight the House passed a bill 76 to 60 that allows the Department of Transportation to temporarily resurrect and collect highway tolls on Route 11 in the southeastern part of the state.My concern is that this opens the door to reinstating tolls on other highways.
The temporary tolls will be used to pay for the completion of the highway, which currently stops about 8.5 miles short of its planned completion in Salem.
Since 1979 I've worked in jobs that required a lot of driving. During many of those years, I spent a lot of time waiting in traffic to get through the toll booths. Milford was probably the heaviest tolled city in the state, with I-95 tolls bracketing the city in Stratford and West Haven, and the Route 15 toll on the east side of the Housatonic in Milford.
And who can forget the traffic nightmares on I-95 in Fairfield County, where rush hour slow downs now occur even without tolls pretty much any time of the day?
House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, had a difficult time wrapping his mind around the idea that the state was going to temporarily resurrect tolls...With gas prices currently hovering around $4 a gallon, the last thing we want is to sit idling in a toll line for 15-20 minutes at a time. We need to carefully examine where and how the tolls will be implemented, and be assured that this doesn't open the door to additional tolls around the state. If the tolls are ONLY used on Route 11 to complete the highway, that's reasonable. It's in a fairly rural area and traffic likely won't be significantly impacted.
“We’re creating tolls we can’t describe or tell you what they are or where they’re going to go,” Cafero said.
Rep. David Scribner, R-Brookfield, urged his colleagues not to think about the bill as a completion to Route 11, but a change in policy that permits tolls to be placed on Connecticut highways.
But the minute they start kicking around the idea to put tolls on other major roads in the state, especially in high-traffic urban areas, that's going to be a problem.