The Facts About Tolls

May 1, 2019

We have heard from constituents, experts, and politicians on both sides of the aisle – and by consensus – Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of significant investment.

Both sides agree we should dedicate $700-$800 million annually to infrastructure repairs and improvements. But Republicans want to put the bill on the state’s credit card and make current and future taxpayers pay for it – with interest. The GOP plan would bond – that is, borrow – hundreds of millions annually for 30 years. This would increase the income tax rate, lower the state’s bond rating and make borrowing more costly and more expensive to finance transportation projects.

Hundreds of roads and bridges across Connecticut have been identified for repairs, improvements or replacement. Last year, an NBC Connecticut report on the worst bridges in the state included the Skiff Street Bridge in Hamden and the CT Post reported on much-needed upgrades to the 70 year old West Rock Tunnel.

The Democratic proposal – which calls for electronic tolls on I-95, I-91, I-84 and the Merritt Parkway – would capture 40% of toll-generated revenue from out-of-state drivers. A recent editorial in The Day encourages us to reject Republican political posturing and adopt a plan for tolls.

Here is what is on the table for tolls:

  • 40% of the revenue from tolls will be paid by out-of-state drivers
  • Toll gantries on I-84, I-95, I-91 and the Merritt Pkwy
  • Gantries will be located every 6-7 miles and frequent commuters and CT residents will get discounts
  • Tolls will be less than 5 cents-per-mile
  • No more than 50 gantries in total
  • Revenues from tolls will be exclusively used on transportation projects

This isn’t simply about being for or against tolls. It’s about a cost effective and responsible plan to address Connecticut’s aging and outdated transportation infrastructure.

Let’s stop the scare tactics. The plan we are considering is realistic and relieves Connecticut taxpayers from the full burden of paying for our infrastructure by charging out of state motorists and trucks for using our roads.

We must find a solution, so let’s agree to do the right thing to keep Connecticut growing and moving in the right direction.