Massachusetts lawmaker wants to post tolls along state’s borders

| Thursday, June 14, 2007

If a Massachusetts state lawmaker gets her way, tolls would be introduced in the incoming traffic lanes at the state’s borders.

Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, is touting the need to require visitors to the state to dig into their pockets to help pay for roads and bridges in need of repair.

“We all pay tolls when entering New Hampshire,” Spilka told The Metro West Daily News. “Drivers entering Massachusetts should contribute to the maintenance of our roads as well.”

Spilka offered a bill that would allow toll collection at the New Hampshire border on Interstate 93 in Methuen and on Interstate 95 in Salisbury. Tolls also would be taken on Route 3.

Toll rates were not specified.

The bill – S2090 – also would allow tolls to be placed on such roadways as I-95, Route 91 and I-295 along the borders of Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut.

Spilka said all options should be on the table to increase revenue.

The effort has been met with resistance.

Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen is asking lawmakers to exercise patience when dealing with tolls or taxes, The Associated Press reported. Instead, he wants to wait until Gov. Deval Patrick releases a report about possible solutions to funding infrastructure improvements due by years end.

Sen. Steve Baddour, D-Methuen, co-chairman of the Joint Transportation Committee, said it’s unlikely the bill will advance out of the committee.

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