Daily News Briefs, January 27, 2017

This is a Subscribers-Only area. If you are a subscriber, please login. If not...

Become a Subscriber Today »

Ontario Premier to Kill Toronto Tolling Proposal

Toronto Sun reports, “Mayor John Tory’s plan to toll the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway has been parked — permanently. Sources tell the Toronto Sun that Premier Kathleen Wynne will reject Tory and Toronto city council’s request to toll the key arteries into and out of downtown. Wynne is set to make the announcement in Richmond Hill [this morning, January 27].”

Canada Ontario


CTRMA's $480 Million US 183 North Mobility Project Is Up Next, Once Funding Is Available

KXAN reports, “At this point it may feel like there’s no end in sight when it comes to construction. Having passed the environmental studies, the 183 North Mobility Project would be the next major road project to break ground once funding is available. The project not only adds two express lanes on US 183 from State Highway 45 to the MoPac Expressway ramp, but also adds another non-tolled lane along the stretch, turning US 183 from three lanes to four lanes.”

Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA)


IDOT to Focus on Developing Financial Plan for $2.7 Billion Eisenhower Expressway Project

Oak Park Oak Leaves (via Chicago Tribune) reports, “The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to spend the coming months working on a financial plan for its proposed $2.7 billion overhaul of the Eisenhower Expressway. The rebuild and widening plan includes a ‘preferred alternative’ that calls for a lane to be added to Interstate 290 in each direction between Mannheim Road and Austin Boulevard, which would bring the entire expressway to four lanes in each direction between Interstate 88 and Interstate 90/94.”

Express Lanes Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)


Unhappy Motorist Pays NTTA Bill with 17,000 Pennies (and Notes that Pennies Are "American Currency")

CBS DFW reports, “Shocked by a large toll bill, a North Texas man said he got back at the North Texas Tollway Authority through how he paid off his bill.” (Video, especially of the man’s backpack, is worth a click.)

North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)


RiverLink Clears Transponder Milestone

News and Tribune reports, “Less than a month after the beginning of tolling, more than 200,000 RiverLink transponders have been requested. That number is a ‘milestone’ for RiverLink, according to a press release.” [Link added.]

Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges


P3s and VDOT's I-66 Outside the Beltway Project Draw Scrutiny

WVTF casts a skeptical look at P3s, in particular Virginia’s I-66 outside the beltway deal with Express Mobility Partners, reporting “Public-private partnerships or P3s are a fairly new approach to building roads and bridges. The idea is that private companies put money up to do the construction and earn their profits over time, collecting tolls and other revenue.  The reality is that companies rarely put up much of their own money. Instead, some borrow heavily, take advantage of complex tax laws and then declare bankruptcy.”

P3 & Privatization Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)


A Look at CDOT's RUC/VMT Pilot and Highway Funding Challenges

Colorado Public Radio has an update on Colorado DOT’s road-usage-charge pilot project, reporting, “For CDOT, a mileage tax could ultimately replace the gas tax, and would offer a more fair and reliable measure of a person’s road use. Charging motorists by the mile, CDOT said, is akin to paying utilities like water and electric: You pay for what you use.”

Colorado Department of Transportation RUC & VMT Programs


Audit Shows Wisconsin Road Projects Cost Double Estimates

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, “The cost of major road projects in Wisconsin doubled between the time they were planned and built, a sweeping audit of the state Department of Transportation revealed Thursday [January 26]. It cost $1.5 billion to build 19 major projects between 2006 and 2015 — $772.5 million more than originally estimated, the Legislative Audit Bureau found.” The report adds, “The skyrocketing costs will influence the debate over whether more money should be put toward roads, giving both sides arguments.”



PANYNJ Continues Crackdown on Toll-Evading Jitney Drivers (Which, Apparently, Is a Thing)

NJ.com reports, “A crackdown on repeat toll evaders resulted in the fifth arrest this week of a jitney bus driver at the Lincoln Tunnel,” according to Port Authority Police. The bus’s owner-driver has allegedly failed to pay more than $40,000 in tolls and fees.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) Scofflaws


Orlando Magazine Takes a Deep Dive on the I-4 Ultimate and Tolling

“Orlando” Magazine publishes an extensive feature article on the I-4 Ultimate Project that includes a lengthy discussion of tolling. “Even in the midst of a massive six-year, $2.3 billion overhaul that will double the width of the highway through metro Orlando, the road remains crowded, the grudging route of choice no matter the time of day. The state even spent $1.2 billion creating a commuter train called SunRail to give harried drivers an escape from I-4, but traffic has not diminished.”

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) I-4 Ultimate Improvement Programs (FL)


Toll Collection to Start Soon on City of Chesapeake's Dominion Boulevard

WAVY reports that Chesapeake, Virginia, is ready to begin all-electronic toll collection on its newly opened Dominion Boulevard (US 17) improvements, although it has not decided on an actual start-up date.

City of Chesapeake (Virginia) Virginia


Retailers Set Record for NY Thruway E-ZPass On-The-Go Tags in 2016

Hudson Valley News Network reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on January 26 that “107,625 Thruway E-ZPass On-The-Go tags were sold in 2016 by retailers across the state. The 2016 sales break all previous records since the program was created in 2005. The On-The-Go program allows busy travelers to open a Thruway E-ZPass account, without filling out an application, by purchasing a tag at retail stores.”

E-ZPass New York New York State Thruway Authority


Georgia's Governor Cuts Ribbon on I-75 and I-575 Reversible Toll Lane

WSB-TV reports that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal cut the ribbon on the I-75 and I-575 reversible toll lanes project yesterday, January 26. “As an incentive to sign up for a Peach Pass now, drivers can use the reversible express lanes free for the first 14 days, starting Saturday, Jan. 28,” the station adds.

Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) State Road and Tollway Authority (GA)


Travel Columnist Offers Tips on Avoiding Rental-Car "Gotcha" Toll Fees

The Washington Post’s travel columnist, Christopher Elliott, gives advice for avoiding rental-car surcharges for electronic toll collection.


AZ Newspaper Backs P3, Tolling Project to Ease I-17 Congestion

The Daily Courier editorial board supports the proposal to add lanes to a congested section of I-17 north of Phoenix and suggests that a toll-financed P3 project is the way to get the job done. “Arizonans have long opposed toll roads, but the time is right to reconsider that position. There is a need, and it makes sense that the people paying for that need be the people who benefit from it most,” the board writes.

Arizona P3 & Privatization


Private Operator of Montreal's Highway 30 Bridge Will Increase Tolls by Ten Percent

Montreal Gazette reports, “The private consortium that operates the Highway 30 bridge [A30EXPRESS] is hiking tolls by more than 10 percent as of Feb. 1.”

Canada Quebec Toll Rate Changes