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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Toll plan hits bump in the road

More on the US House's action to stop tolling of I-80 from the Patriot News. The federal law would mean that federal funds currently going to the state for I-80 would be lost under a tolling plan (the transportation plan had used these "savings" as part of the financing scheme for mass transit and other roads and bridges).

It was unlikely the state would have gotten federal approval to toll I-80 in its entirety (as the plan calls for) and keep federal funding for I-80 regardless - the current options for tolling interstates are for congestion relief and for new toll lanes in major metropolitan areas.

Rep Peterson blasts the tolling scheme as strongly as we have,

"The governor and state legislature's proposal, taking I-80 from PennDOT and giving it to the bloated Turnpike Commission to peppering tolls across rural Pennsylvania, was a terrible decision and would cause irreversible economic damage"

Rep. Todd Platts adds that:
"It seems that it would have been more prudent of the governor to have received federal approval for that proposal before making it the basis for the transportation funding."

Ordinarily I would make a joke calling Rep. Platts "Mr. Obivous," but we said the same thing, and almost no one listened.

Governor Rendell's staff complains about the "federal cuts" this would entail, but did they really expect the federal government to keep sending money to PA for a road that isn't under federal jurisdiction?

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