Massachusetts will wait for toll increase announcement

| 9/18/2007

A highly anticipated announcement about future toll increases in Massachusetts has been delayed at least two weeks.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Board of Directors voted Monday, Sept. 17, to delay their pending decision by two weeks.

Board members, a turnpike spokesman said, wanted more time to explore cost savings before rendering a decision about toll rates.

Periodic toll increases are part of the Turnpike Authority’s long-term plans, but increasing costs of the Big Dig tunnels through Boston have put pressure on the authority to increase the amounts.

The next board meeting is Oct. 4.

Spokesman Mac Daniel told Land Line that board members intend to present potential cuts before issuing the toll amounts.

In addition to increasing debts associated with the Central/Artery Tunnel Project known as the Big Dig, the board wants to make sure the following major elements are funded:

  • $143.7 million for structurally deficient bridges;
  • $82.8 million for tunnel rehabilitation;
  • $16.8 million for toll plazas;
  • $4.5 million for median barriers; and
  • $8.1 million for roadway repairs.

“It was anticipated that after 2002 there would be periodic toll increases at six year intervals,” board members stated in their presentation.

Daniel reiterated that the final decision has yet to be made.

– By David Tanner, staff writer