Truck-only toll lanes considered for Los Angeles area

| Thursday, September 18, 2003

California officials are considering a plan that would put trucks arriving at or leaving the ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach into truck-only lanes mostly paid for by truck tolls, The Press-Enterprise reported Sept. 17.

Tolls on the highway could run as high as 57 cents a mile.

Local officials and the head of the California Trucking Association indicated that the lanes would allow the use of longer combination vehicles, the newspaper reported. Local officials indicated they hoped the larger vehicles would cut pollution, while CTA President Bill Smerber contended they could increase productivity.

The Press-Enterprise reported that Mark Pisano, executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, contended that the ability to carry heavier loads would lead to increased earnings, which he said could help cover the toll cost.

Most of the truck lanes, which would include portions of I-710, Highway 60 and I-15, would be the lower deck of a double-deck highway, with cars above. That route would take trucks from the port area to Barstow, CA.

The route would run more than 120 miles, placing the tolls for traveling the entire length of the road at 57 cents a mile, at more than $68. The double-decker road, if built, would run through some of the most earthquake-prone areas in the United States.

The highway would have to pass through a number of approval processes before construction could proceed. If those approvals are secured, and the project does go forward, Pisano told the newspaper the first segments of the road could open by 2010.

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