Proposed Salt Lake toll road leaving a bad taste with truckers

| 5/15/2006

Truckers in Utah are launching a campaign against a proposed toll road in the Salt Lake City area.

The Utah Trucking Association, based in Salt Lake City, is actively campaigning against the proposal for tolls on the Mountain View Corridor, which would link Salt Lake County with northwestern Utah County.

UTA’s 40-member Board of Directors voted last week to devote time and money to oppose the toll road. The association represents 430 carriers.

State officials believe tolls would speed up progress on the highway, which ground could be broken for in 2009. The Utah Department of Transportation has also expressed interest in a public-private partnership, three “Ps” that are also leaving a bad taste in the mouths of truckers.

The motor carrier C.R. England, based in Utah, has 2,600 drivers. Company President Dan England opposes the toll road and told the Desert Morning News that toll roads unfairly burden nearby residents and add significant cost to commerce.

The Mountain View Corridor is slated to cost about $1 billion.

On its Web site, UDOT cites a growing gap between future funding and costs, projecting a $16.5 billion shortfall by 2030 with current funding sources.

Highway capacity in the population boom in the Salt Lake region is becoming a crisis, UDOT insists.

– By David Tanner, staff writer