Arizona Throws Hat in the Ring for Tolling Project
October 25, 2011
The Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at tolling the segment of Interstate 15 that cuts across the northwestern corner of the state.
According to published reports, truckers could pay $6 to $10 to travel the 29-mile stretch.
ADOT in August sent a request to the Federal Highway Administration for permission to add tolls to the highway, saying stretch of road needs $251 million in repairs, including rebuilding bridge decks, and Arizona can't afford to pay for it. The FHWA is reviewing the request.
The I-15 toll would be part of a federal pilot program to add tolls to sections of three interstates in the country. Virginia
and Missouri already have received preliminary permission to participate in the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program,
for I-95 and I-70, respectively. Two other states have also applied to be considered for the final slot.
Interstate 15 is a major route for freight, running from San Diego, past Los Angeles, through Las Vegas and on to Salt Lake City and the Canadian border. It's the only Mexico-to-Canada trade route between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada.
Earlier this year, officials found cracks in the steel girders, broken welds and joints in some of the seven bridges over the Virgin River.
The Arizona Trucking Association opposes the plan, noting that once a toll goes in, it never goes away, and it never drops.