Panel votes to increase tolls on Maine Turnpike

| Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Maine Turnpike Authority has voted to increase tolls on the highway, a spokesman for the agency told Land Line.

According to Dan Paradee, public affairs manager for the authority, the current toll for a tractor-trailer running from York, ME, to Augusta, ME – the full length of the toll road – has increase from $12.20 to $16.

The average increase for large trucks is roughly 30 percent, compared with an overall average increase for all vehicles of 22 percent.

The increased tolls, which go into effect in February 2005, will raise $13.5 million a year for “a lot of bread and butter projects to keep the road in top condition,” Paradee said.

“It’s for our next five-year capital improvement plan,” he said. The $143 million plan “will pay for the rehabilitation of 15 to 20 bridges and the paving of 37 miles of turnpike.”

The largest project on the plan will be the reconstruction of the toll plaza at York, which sits at the southernmost tip of the turnpike. The plan also includes a laundry list of smaller work, such as guardrail improvements.

The Maine Turnpike is the second oldest toll highway in the United States, the authority said in a statement. The 109-mile highway was built a half century ago, and includes 130 bridges, most of which were built with a 50-year lifespan.

The plan was approved by the Turnpike Authority at a meeting July 23, Paradee said. The last increase occurred in 1999.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at mark_reddig@landlinemag.com.

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