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Keyword: tolls

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  • Opinion | Could tolls be the answer to fix Michigan's roads, bridges?

    01/07/2021 7:22:12 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 57 replies
    Bridge Michigan ^ | December 24, 2020 | Baruch Feigenbaum
    Michigan drivers and taxpayers have been complaining about road and highway conditions for years. But the solutions policymakers have recently proposed ranged from the politically impossible, like raising the gas tax 45 cents per gallon, to financially-risky short-term fixes like borrowing billions in bonds to pay for teacher pension contributions so that money could be shifted to funding for roads. But it seems like Michigan lawmakers may be warming up to a long-term, sustainable, users-pay solution to achieving better roads: tolling. Lansing's interest in tolling has gone back decades but this year the state Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration...
  • Report: How to Fix Surface Transportation Funding

    01/04/2021 1:23:18 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    For Construction Pros ^ | December 9, 2020 | Jessica Lombardo
    The surface transportation construction industry has long had to rely on Washington for its prosperity. We spend most years holding our breath and hoping we will receive more Federal funding to fix our crumbling roads, bridges and highway systems. Currently in the United States, 7 percent of bridges are structurally deficient, and 19 percent of major highway pavements have deteriorated. Yet, our existing financing structure has few tools to address the looming reconstruction challenges facing existing infrastructure. In 2020, Congress passed a one-year extension of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. While the one-year extension of the FAST Act...
  • Best of 2020: Broken promises to fund transportation defined last 15 years

    01/01/2021 10:32:31 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Connecticut Mirror ^ | December 29, 2020 (originally published January 27, 2020) | Keith M. Phaneuf
    The caller, identified as “Bob from West Hartford,” hit a nerve when he dialed into Gov. Ned Lamont’s Jan. 9 appearance on WTIC-1080 AM with morning hosts Ray Dunaway and Joe D’Ambrosio. “Hi Governor Lamont. In the most recent [state] budget you diverted $170 million out of gas taxes in the Special Transportation Fund,” Bob said. “That’s a myth that gets perpetrated day-in and day-out,” Lamont responded. “There is no diversion taking place, so you can put that one to rest.” Not so fast, governor. Although Lamont and fellow Democrats insist the diversion charge is a “myth,” the truth is...
  • Federal stimulus package won’t erase PennDOT’s funding gap or plans for new tolls or taxes

    12/31/2020 1:48:42 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 24 replies
    The Allentown Morning Call Adware Farm ^ | December 22, 2020 | Tom Shortell
    Congressional leaders passed a new stimulus package meant to alleviate the financial pain of the coronavirus, but it won’t cure all that ails PennDOT’s pocketbook. PennDOT press secretary Alexis Campbell said Monday afternoon it wasn’t clear if the relief plan will cover the $600 million funding gap plaguing PennDOT. Early media reports indicate that $10 billion of financial relief could be distributed to the 50 states’ highway systems, though it’s unclear how much would come Pennsylvania’s way. State Sen. Pat Browne, a Lehigh County Republican and longtime chairperson of the Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday that transportation-specific wording included in the...
  • Skanska claims liability should be waived for damages caused by construction barges

    12/26/2020 5:59:42 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    Construction Dive ^ | December 15, 2020 | Kim Slowey
    Dive Brief: Skanska USA Civil Southeast has turned to the federal courts in an attempt to eliminate or significantly reduce its liability for damages caused by barges that broke loose from the $430 million Pensacola Bay Bridge construction project during Hurricane Sally in August by having its barges recognized as vessels protected under maritime law. In five separate filings each covering a different barge, Skanska asked the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, to declare that it is not liable "for any loss, injuries or damages" related to barge damage, including economic losses suffered by businesses from the closure of...
  • Bridge toll battle goes to appeals court

    12/24/2020 4:52:13 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies
    WWSB ABC 7 ^ | December 22, 2020 | Jim Saunders
    TALLAHASSSEE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) - Bondholders have gone to a state appeals court as they seek to force the Florida Department of Transportation to pay damages because of lost toll revenues on a long-controversial Panhandle bridge. UMB Bank, which represents bondholders, filed a notice last week that it was taking the dispute to the 1st District Court of Appeal after a Leon County circuit judge ruled in November that the department could not be forced to pay damages. As is common, the notice of appeal does not provide detailed legal arguments. But the appeal is the latest move...
  • Is Florida’s massive toll road project destined to crash? | Editorial

    12/24/2020 3:42:35 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Tampa Bay Times ^ | November 29, 2020 | Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board
    Proponents have called the state’s massive new toll road project a monumental opportunity and a thoughtful plan for smart growth. The 330 miles of new highways will curb interstate congestion, bolster the economy and facilitate hurricane evacuations, they say. In short, the argument goes, the roads would be a good investment. So why is it that so many of the preliminary studies are at best lukewarm on the idea? And the latest reports only add to the list of reasons to reconsider the controversial project. The tolls roads, dubbed the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance, were largely pushed by...
  • New county measure could affect HCTRA funding of northwest Harris County road projects

    12/22/2020 5:10:57 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 1 replies
    The Houston Chronicle ^ | September 26, 2020 | Paul Wedding, Staff Writer
    Harris County Commissioners approved a restructuring of how county toll road revenue can be used, which is concerning some people in northwest Harris County about how road projects will be funded. The measure approved creates a corporation to oversee duties performed by the Harris County Toll Road Authority. According to HCTRA, this measure would also change the grip the state has on where toll revenue can be spent by the county. A memo from Peter Key, HCTRA’s interim executive director, said HCTRA currently can only provide the issuance of revenue bonds for tolled infrastructure, and not non-toll transportation infrastructure challenges....
  • Urban Transportation Commission creates working group to form I-35 recommendations

    12/21/2020 3:06:38 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 10 replies
    The Austin Monitor ^ | December 16, 2020 | Sean Saldaña
    A Texas A&M Transportation Institute report recently ranked the segment of Interstate 35 that goes through Austin the most congested roadway in the state. This congestion is one of the reasons behind the I-35 Capital Express Project, a multiyear, multibillion-dollar transportation initiative that will add two non-tolled managed lanes in each direction along I-35 from U.S. Highway 290 East to State Highway 71/Ben White Boulevard. The project will also add flyovers at I-35 and U.S. 290. Discussions about the plan were central to last week’s Urban Transportation Commission meeting, which kicked off with a presentation by Austin Transportation Director Robert...
  • Watch Now: Gilcrease Expressway extension on track for opening in about 18 months

    12/16/2020 11:27:37 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 6 replies
    Tulsa World ^ | December 4, 2020 | Cutris Killman
    Work on the west leg of the Gilcrease Expressway continues with officials saying Monday that completion is still expected in about 18 months. Joe Echelle, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority assistant executive director of maintenance, engineering and construction, told stakeholders during a virtual meeting that the contractor was slightly ahead of schedule with concrete pouring for the new roadway scheduled to begin in February. As the concrete is poured, first between 41st and 51st Streets, the highway “won’t just look like a dirt road at this point,” Echelle said. State officials in July 2019 awarded a $259.3 million construction contract for the...
  • After 4 years of construction and delays, upgraded SH-288 now open

    12/16/2020 4:05:41 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    ABC 13 Eyewitness News Adware Farm ^ | November 30, 2020 | Katherine Whaley and Courtney Fischer
    HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The SH-288 toll lanes are open and you'll have to pay to use them starting today. Until now, the fees had been waived. Adjustable pricing is based on time of day and volume of traffic. In other words, if the lanes get too congested, toll prices will increase to control traffic. "I think you have to realize that the tolls will be managed based on time of day. If you're in the tolls during peak, it will cost a little more. If you're driving off peak, it will be less. And that's how they're designed," said...
  • Illinois tolls were supposed to be temporary. A progressive tax is only supposed to hurt 3% of Illinoisans. Political promises mean little in Illinois.

    12/07/2020 3:36:55 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 53 replies
    Illinois Policy ^ | September 17, 2020 | Ben Szalinski
    “Toll free in ’73.” That was the campaign slogan over five decades ago that promised tolls on Illinois interstates would be a temporary revenue sources. Today, the tolls are higher and the tollway authority is more permanent than ever. Lawmakers promised tolls would help fund 186 miles of interstate construction and would be removed when the roads were paid off. After that, highway maintenance would be funded by the gas tax. In 1968, the General Assembly made the Illinois Toll Highway Authority permanent. What started at just 10 cents at the exits and 25 cents at the plazas has grown...
  • It’s official. Murphy approves toll hikes on three major N.J. highways

    12/02/2020 5:46:36 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    NJ.com ^ | June 10, 2020 | Larry Higgs
    It’s a done deal. Tolls on the states three major toll highways are going up in September, after Gov. Phil Murphy gave a final approval of the increases and the multi-billion dollar construction plans they fund. Murphy signed the meeting minutes on May 27 and sent confirmation letters to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and South Jersey Transportation Authority, said Jerrel Harvey, a spokesman for the governor. The approvals came on the same day boards of both agencies met, held lengthy public hearings and approved the toll increases. Governors have the option to approve authority board minutes, or not to...
  • Maryland board approves 'monumental' multi-billion dollar Traffic Relief Plan

    01/22/2020 8:54:40 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    Construction DIVE ^ | January 9, 2020 | Kim Slowey
    Dive Brief: In what Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is calling "a monumental and historic achievement," the three-member state Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to approve amendments to the public-private partnership (P3) that will deliver Hogan's $9 billion Traffic Relief Plan. The plan includes implementation of Maryland and Virginia's Capital Beltway Accord, which allows for a new American Legion Bridge between the two states near Washington, D.C., and the approval will allow the state to solicit bids. In order to win a majority vote for the plan, Hogan agreed to eliminate from the first phase of the project the widening...
  • Express lane construction to start on I-95 this month

    01/22/2020 8:42:24 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 2 replies
    FOX 29 WFLX ^ | January 15, 2020 | Scripps
    Your commute could get worse before it gets better along a stretch of Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County. Later this month, crews will begin adding express lanes from Glades Road in Boca Raton to Linton Boulevard in Delray Beach. For realtor Ricky Hen, this is great news. "Traffic is awful to be honest with you," said Hen. The Florida Department of Transportation will add two tolled express lanes along that stretch of I-95 in southern Palm Beach County. "I think it's great idea," said Hen. "I think it will help a lot and add a lot and help a...
  • PA Turnpike tolls go up 6% in 2020, but smaller increases expected beginning in 2023

    12/31/2019 4:45:29 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 34 replies
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | December 29, 2019 | Ed Blazina
    Pennsylvania Turnpike users can expect 6% toll increases in 2020 and 2021 but then — if the state Legislature follows through with plans to change how the state funds public transit — the rate of annual increases gradually will go down to 3% in 2028. Nikolaus Grieshaber, the turnpike’s chief financial officer, outlined the agency’s financial future recently in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the 6% toll hike that begins Jan. 5. The increase marks the 12th year in a row that rates have gone up and will increase the fee for a car traveling the length of...
  • RCCAO report cites heightened need for road pricing

    12/15/2019 8:06:19 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    Daily Commercial News (ConstructConnect) ^ | December 6, 2019 | Don Wall
    New analysis of projected provincial gas tax revenues in Ontario has revealed that that source of provincial funding will fall much more dramatically than predicted just five years ago due to increased use of electric vehicles and other factors. And so, concludes Trent University professor emeritus Harry Kitchen in a new report titled Ontario’s Downward Trend for Fuel Revenue: Will Road Pricing Fill the Gap?, the provincial government must look for other sources of revenues to build transportation infrastructure. Kitchen recommends road pricing, such as tolls and HOT lanes, with funds raised earmarked for future transportation improvements, and dynamic parking...
  • P3s can add significant costs to Canadian highway projects, study finds

    11/27/2019 2:55:22 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    Construction DIVE ^ | November 13, 2019 | Jenn Goodman
    A study of the public-private partnership project delivery method has some cautionary advice for governments and contractors considering them. Entitled "Highway Robbery: Public Private Partnerships and Nova Scotia Highways" by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the study urges jurisdictions to stop using the model to build highways. The report concludes that governments should instead employ traditional public procurement, based on its findings that contracting out services through a P3 is more expensive than public procurement, has the potential to compromise highway safety, needlessly duplicates government services and lacks mechanisms for public accountability. “Public infrastructure and services should remain fully...
  • Maryland and Virginia to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge, governors say

    11/15/2019 12:47:04 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 35 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | November 12, 2019 | Robert McCartney, Luz Lazo and Katherine Shaver
    Maryland and Virginia will partner to rebuild and widen the American Legion Bridge in a ­billion-dollar project to relieve congestion at the Washington region’s worst traffic bottleneck, the states’ governors announced Tuesday. In an unusual example of interstate cooperation, Virginia has agreed to help pay for the project even though most of the bridge — like the Potomac River flowing beneath it — belongs to Maryland. The plan marks a breakthrough in a years-long impasse over widening the bridge on the northwestern stretch of the Capital Beltway. In the past, Maryland has said it didn’t have enough money for the...
  • Don’t expect Hogan to boost Maryland taxes for transit

    11/09/2019 2:29:07 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    WTOP ^ | November 4, 2019 | Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters
    As he travels the state with top administrators from the Maryland Department of Transportation, Secretary Pete K. Rahn hears a frequent plea from business leaders, environmentalists and the public — expand bus and rail options, so travelers don’t have to be so dependent on their cars. Rahn has a ready response for transit advocates: Under Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), Maryland is spending more on transit than at any other time. “We’re at 42 percent of the state [transportation] trust fund going to transit already, with 3 percent of the revenues coming from transit,” Rahn told a reporter in...