Thursday, January 21, 2010

I-80 Tolling Decision Could Come Soon

A northern Pennsylvania Congressman says he expects the U.S. Department of Transportation to make a decision on I-80 tolling any day now.
Republican Glenn Thompson and other Pennsylvania lawmakers sat down with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood earlier this week in Washington, and Thompson says he got the impression the federal government will decide whether to accept or reject Pennsylvania’s tolling application in the coming days.

"The Secretary very specifically said they could be making the decision soon. I’m not sure what soon means, but my inclination is this is a decision that will be made in an imminent fashion. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear something as soon as the end of this week."
Thompson says he told LaHood his concerns about the tolling initiative.

"We talked about the negative economic impact, not just along the I-80 corridor, but frankly for Pennsylvania. Where reroutes commerce around Pennsylvania – just would add insult to injury with our economy around the state."

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission resubmitted its application about three months ago. Spokesman Carl DeFebo says tolling is scheduled to begin in November 2011, but the timeframe could be sped up after a final decision is made.

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