HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Drivers across the state are talking about the possibility of bringing tolls back to Connecticut after the governor brought it up again.
It’s been about 30 years since toll booths dotted Connecticut highways and it could take a lot to bring them back. Generations of drivers now travel the state highways uninterrupted by the cost, delays, and possible danger of tolls. They were phased out after a crash at a Stratford toll barrier in January 1983. A tractor-trailer plowed into cars, triggering an explosion that killed seven people.
Now, lawmakers may look at lifting the ban on tolls to help pay for upgrades to bridges, roads, and maybe even railways.
“This didn’t happen overnight but we probably have underinvested in transportation for the better part of two generations, or 40 years,” said Governor Dannel Malloy, D-Conn.
The governor says if tolls are brought back, there should be a lockbox in place to keep the money dedicated to transportation.
“Tolls are a way of paying for it,” said Gov. Malloy. “There are other ways of paying for it.”
“If it was going to be back into the general fund and be for pork belly stuff, then no way,” said Rosemarie Wilson of Oakdale. “If it was going to be used for the repair of infrastructure and the upkeep of the road, then maybe I might be in favor of it.”
Most drivers we talked to say it all depends on how the money is used.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with there being more of them if it provides funding for road maintenance, which is a lot better in Connecticut than it is in New York,” said New York resident Richard Ford.
There’s also another reason Ford wouldn’t have a problem paying to use these highways.
“Because E-ZPass is like the greatest invention since sliced bread,” said Ford.
The new legislative sessions begins next Wednesday, but it could be some time after that before the governor officially unveils his transportation proposals.