By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
An effort to bring tolls back to Connecticut met its demise late Wednesday, June 8.
Tolls have been off limits in the state since the mid-’80s when state officials removed tolls from the Connecticut Turnpike. Concerns about safety and congestion spurred the state to remove toll booths.
The state Senate allowed a bill to die that would have opened the door once again to the revenue source to finish state Route 11. The bill – HB6200 – was a full Senate vote shy of advancing to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk for his expected signature, but the chamber failed to take a vote on it in the hours before they adjourned for the year. House lawmakers previously approved it on a 76-60 vote.
Temporary tolls would have been authorized to pay to complete an 8.5-mile extension of state Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut. Existing roadways were unaffected by the bill and will continue to be toll free.
Tolls were to be removed when enough toll revenue was generated to cover construction bonds.
Supporters said completion of the route is necessary to relieve congestion on state Route 85. State officials said toll rates have not been determined.
Opponents said the bill’s passage would create a slippery slope for reinstituting tolls throughout the state.
The governor is moving forward with plans to complete the last eight miles of the road connecting Hartford to Interstate 95 in Waterford. Currently, the route ends in Salem, where traffic must detour.
The effort can be reintroduced during the regular session that begins in January 2012.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Connecticut, click here.
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