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Monday, August 27, 2007

Pennsylvania Political War Over Planned Tolls on I-80

New York Times on the debate over tolling I-80. The Times points out, as this blog has, that the plan still requires federal approval, the program the Turnpike Commission is applying to does not apply to the plan to toll I-80, and there has been no indication the feds will give the go-ahead.

The plan requires the approval of the Federal Highway Administration, a process that state officials hope will be completed in a year. Under a program called the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, states can add tolls to interstates paid for with federal money.

“It will fly only if the Federal Highway Administration decides it will fly,” said Mr. English, whose Third Congressional District covers about 30 miles of the western edge of I-80. “And this plan doesn’t fit the pilot program as proposed by Congress.”

Mr. English argues that the pilot program was intended to let states use new toll revenue for road maintenance and improvements, not mass transit.

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