2013-03-04: Maine's New Gloucester toll plaza is set to begin open road electronic toll (ORT) collection April 1. It's got one highspeed (65mph) lane leftside each direction through the toll plaza area. The single highspeed lanes were built in an area occupied by islands and booths for two stop-to-pay/roll-through lanes under canopy.
Like it or not, get ready to pay tolls on our Interstates and Parkways (here in Connecticut.) Transportation officials in Hartford say there’s just no other way to raise badly needed money for over-due infrastructure repairs. Tolls may not be popular, but neither are collapsing bridges.
In the last decade’s debate on highway tolling, here are the five biggest lies that opponents have used to stall the return of highway tolls:
2013-03-03: Ned Corcoran is a well connected lawyer in Quincy MA in south Boston who seems to have a decent shot at developing Massachusetts' first toll lanes project.
For contrived sincerity while declaring black is white, day is night, or war is peace our US president has a worthy competitor in Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (Republican.) McDonnell told Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner of the huge new tax-&-spend transportation bill that he had "exhausted all the conservative means he could to fund roads, including tolls and spending cuts."
2013-03-01: TxDOT will negotiating with Xerox a contract for toll plaza and customer service center operations. The department got authority from the state Transportation Commission (TTC) at their latest meeting when the TxDOT ranking of proposers was announced and Xerox was rated "best value."
2013-02-28: Third lanes are being added to 2x2 lanes of the Loop 375 Border Highway in El Paso Texas, and the toll systems are getting under way. The project is on 8.9 miles between US54 and just west of Zaragoza Road (identified on CRRMA maps as Project 12.) It is located right along the Rio Grand river that forms the Mexican border. It is a major southside bypass of the southern metro area and alternate to I-10.
Will G-Men pay the tolls? That's the question. The FBI with 11,000 head office staff has outgrown its offices at the J Edgar Hoover building in downtown Washington DC, they say. And it may move most 25 miles west to Loudoun County Virginia to one of a number of sites in the VA267 corridor - centered on the contiguous Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Greenway.
Fortuitously the Port Mann Highway 1 (PMH1) toll system in Vancouver BC is a useful proving ground for American toll interoperability. They have transponders of three different RF protocols to read, traffic in the six digit daily volumes, 12 toll lanes, a vast variety of license plates, and weather as lousy as any on the continent - fog, mist, persistent rain, snow, ice in winter and humid heat in summer.
2013-02-25: Toll express lanes on the I-10 in Los Angeles reportedly worked well on their first workday today. Traffic was split about equally between free HOV3s (3 or more occupants) and toll paying vehicles, the operator LA Metro reports.
2013-02-25: Turkey's prime minister Recep Erdogan said that the highest investor bid - $5.7 billion - for the state's tollroads was too low. "We have much bigger expectations," he said earlier this year. Now his finance minister and the country's Privatization Administration (OYK) have formally announced they are canceling the privatization, which has been in procurement for the past years.