Showdown in Hartford as public weighs in on tolls

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HARTFORD -

Officials Wednesday revealed a preliminary price point of charging drivers up to 4.4 cents per mile upon the implementation of tolls on Connecticut roadways.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti announced the price during a public hearing in Hartford.

The Transportation Committee held the meeting to discuss the details of Gov. Ned Lamont's bill to bring tolls back to the state in order to fund the state's crumbling and sluggish infrastructure.

READ THE BILLS: Transportation Infrastructure | Creation of the Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority

Statement from state Sen. Martin M. Looney

Lamont says that the state’s clogged roads are costing Connecticut jobs from various businesses.  

"They ask about gridlock," Lamont said. "They say, ‘Is this a state that's slowly getting its act together when it comes to transportation?’"

A DOT spokesperson says drivers could potentially be charged 4.4 cents per mile during peak hours and 3.5 cents per mile during off-peak hours, but that could change.  Connecticut EZ-Pass users could get up to 50 percent discount, depending on how often they drive.

DOT engineers say they're looking at 52 overhead toll readers, spaced roughly 6 miles apart, across the state.

Although they say the number of tolls is negotiable.

Tolls would cover the Merritt Parkway, as well as Interstates 95, 91 and 84.

For a rush hour trip from Greenwich to Bridgeport, it would cost commuters $1.28. Connecticut EZ-Pass holders might only have to pay half of that amount.

Dozens of people signed up to testify against the tolls and will make their cases throughout the day before the committee.

Some drivers say they can't afford any more payments.

"If we increase any revenue, we should match it with spending cuts," said John Wynne of Fairfield.

Lamont says he is willing to lower the gas tax if the tolls are approved.

Lamont administration presentation to the Transportation Committee: 

 

RELATED: 

To toll, or not to toll: Public to question divisive plan in Hartford 

Lamont pushes plan for faster trains — including tolls 

Gov. Lamont considering tolls for cars on state roads in CT 

Gubernatorial candidates debate over taxes, tolls, economy 

Lamont: Highway tolls could raise $100M to expand train service 

Some CT lawmakers still pushing for tolls as session winds down 

Protesters rally in Stamford against potential return of state tolls 

Officials hold meeting on return of tolls to state highways 

New AAA survey supports tolls on CT interstate highways 

House speaker: Some electronic tolls on Connecticut highways could be installed in 18 months 

State could look to tolls to raise money 

Tolls could be down the road for southwestern CT drivers 

A return to tolls could be just around the bend for Connecticut drivers 

 

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