Tolls to increase Oct. 22 in New Hampshire

| 10/5/2007

Truck tolls will increase by 25 cents per axle on New Hampshire’s 93 miles of toll roads starting Oct. 22.

The New Hampshire Executive Council voted Thursday, Oct. 4, to raise tolls for passenger vehicles and trucks.

Truck tolls that were $2 or $3 depending on the interchange on the Central Turnpike, Blue Star Turnpike or Spaulding Turnpike would increase by 25 cents per axle, New Hampshire Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio.

Passenger tolls will increase from 75 cents to $1 on Interstate 93 and the Everett Turnpike and from $1 to $1.50 on Interstate 95.

The increases aren’t sitting well with everyone.

Residents of Merrimack, whose city is landlocked by tolled interchanges, staged a protest Aug. 25 that included paying their tolls in pennies.

One city leader, Town Councilor David McCray, was ticketed for driving too slowly during the penny toll revolt.

Councilor Deb Pignatelli of Nashua, NH, opposed the toll increase in the 4-1 vote, saying she would introduce a motion at the next Executive Council meeting Oct. 31 to give Merrimack residents some relief.

Gov. John Lynch, who favors a statewide toll increase, is reported to be in favor of relief for Merrimack.

Tolls have not been increased in New Hampshire since 1989.

Holders of E-ZPass accounts will continue to receive a 30-percent discount on tolls, councilors said.

The state New Hampshire Transportation Commission wants to raise an additional $16 million to $24 million per year to pay off bonds, repair and replace 14 structurally deficient bridges and extend the Spaulding Turnpike in Rochester, NH.

– By David Tanner, staff writer