Lawmakers Send Letter to PennDOT Secretary
May 3, 2011
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Reps. Tom Marino and Lou Barletta are among four Pennsylvania congressmen who are urging the state Department of Transportation to disregard any consideration of transforming Interstate 80 into a toll road.
“Tolling Interstate 80 is never a good idea but it’s especially bad at this time when we need to focus on spurring the economy and creating jobs,” Marino said. “Businesses that use I-80 regularly have already said that this would cause a huge financial burden. We should not consider any option that would clearly make it even more costly for businesses to exist in Pennsylvania.”
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Barry J. Schoch dated May 3, 2011, the four legislators said they “remain staunchly opposed to revisiting the tolling” of the highway in an effort to deal with PennDOT’s $3.5 billion annual funding deficit.
“To date, no state has successfully converted a facility into a toll road,” the letter states.
In the letter, the congressmen say turning I-80 into a toll road “will do nothing more than cripple Pennsylvania in an already ailing economy.”
They ask state officials to remove the issue from their agenda and “focus on more realistic and sustainable means” of funding Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges.
The letter was signed by Reps. Glenn Thompson, Mike Kelly, Barletta and Marino.