Thinktank reporter says PA/I-80 toll "dead" - cites multiple fed sources

February 4, 2010
By Peter Samuel

"Pennsylvania Independent" reports that the Obama administration will say "No" to the Pennsylvania Turnpike application to toll I-80.

"The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to deny Pennsylvania's proposed tolling of Interstate 80 within the next week, halting a proposal pushed for several years by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, according to multiple federal sources."

If they're right they have a scoop on the rest of us. If not they have egg on their faces.

"Pennsylvania Independent" an internet publication is a project of the Commonwealth Foundation, a non-profit conservative-oriented thinktank in Harrisburg that has been arguing against the Turnpike tolling I-80. But they say their reporters "adhere to the highest standards of professional journalism."

The Turnpike's third shot at getting tolliing permission is technically an improvement on the first two efforts, though they engaged an odd firm to do their valuation work.

We'd got the impression the decision was tending toward a Yes based on the political balance of power. Tolling has strong support from the transit lobby and politicians in the big cities - the heart of Democrat support. They would stand to gain from the revenue. The northern tier which I-80 traverses is Republican already, so there's nothing for the Democrats to lose there.

But politics and government are nothing if unpredictable.

The decision is expected before the month is out.

TOLLROADSnews 2010-02-04

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