Maine expanding toll collection area on I-95

| Friday, February 29, 2008

Officials with the Maine Turnpike Authority are planning to relocate and expand a toll collection site on Interstate 95.

A public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 27, in York County drew a limited turnout because of the weather, officials said. A turnpike official said the authority will conduct additional public meetings, including an environmental hearing.

“We wanted to get the public involved as early in the process as possible,” spokesman Bruce Pelletier told Land Line.

The current toll collection site at Mile Marker 7.3 in York cannot be expanded because of a nearby wetland, he said.

“We’re trying to narrow four sites down to one and anticipate that will take a few months,” Pelletier said.

Some toll-road operators in other states have implemented open-road tolling, a cashless system of transponders and prepaid accounts that do not require drivers to stop or even slow down.

Pelletier said the Maine Turnpike Authority decided open-road tolling would not be feasible for that area of I-95.

“It’s more beneficial on roads that are designed to handle daily commuters and a high in-state use of the road,” Pelletier said. “We have a high percentage of out-of-state traffic and it makes it more difficult for us to incorporate that type of system.”

Pelletier said the state would have problems tracking those who skip out on paying their tolls – a problem that has surfaced with open-road tolling in other states.

E-ZPass lanes, which provide a cashless system but require drivers to utilize a specific lane at the collection site, will remain a part of the system.

– By David Tanner, staff writer
david_tanner@landlinemag.com

Editor’s note: The public can get involved throughout the relocation and expansion of the toll collection site. For more information, visit maineturnpike.com, call Pelletier at 1-800-698-7747, or e-mail at bpelletier@maineturnpike.com.

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