Truck parking available for Pennsylvania symposium on I-80 tolls

| 11/29/2007

Organizers of a symposium about the I-80 toll proposal in Pennsylvania have secured truck parking and a shuttle service for truckers who would like to attend.

OOIDA is a scheduled participant in the “Perspectives on I-80 Symposium,” sponsored by the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry. The event is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, at the Zion Baptist Church, 114 Zion Road, Clarion, PA. The church is three miles south of the I-80 Clarion Exit 62 on Route 68.

Truckers are welcome to park at the All American Plaza at Exit 70 on I-80. A shuttle will take people to the symposium, making runs at 8:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. The shuttle will return people to the truck stop after 1 p.m.

The Clarion Chamber officials hope to bring together business leaders, community leaders, truckers, state and federal legislators, local elected officials, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In mid-October, the turnpike commission signed a lease to take operational control of I-80 from PennDOT with the intention of converting the state’s 311-mile portion of the interstate into a toll road.

The transfer was outlined in state legislation signed in July by Gov. Ed Rendell.

Tolling authority, however, is still a pending issue. The turnpike commission has applied to the Federal Highway Administration for such authority, but so far it is not a done deal.

Elected officials from around the state have expressed concerns on behalf of residents and business owners who fear that tolls on I-80 will be detrimental to the state’s economy.

The Clarion Chamber leaders said they hope that drawing people from both sides of the tolling issue will make for good dialogue.

– By David Tanner, staff writer