Gabler Denounces Renewed Efforts to Toll Interstate 80

State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) rebuked the latest attempt at instituting tolls on Interstate 80, one day after the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) filed an application to do so with the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

“The commission’s persistent effort to place tolls on I-80-- after being turned down twice by the FHA-- is a continued source of frustration and disappointment for many reasons,” said Gabler. “Obviously, the biggest is its failure to recognize the negative impact such a move would have on residents of and businesses in the I-80 corridor.”

Gabler continues to receive testimony as to the potential harm tolling would do to businesses adjacent to the interstate.

“I recently toured the Domtar Paper Plant in DuBois and the subject of I-80 tolling came up in conversation with Plant Manager Kip Jones,” Gabler stated. “He estimates the imposition of tolls as adding approximately $880,000 to freight costs, as well as increasing the costs associated with inbound materials to the facilities in DuBois and Johnsonburg. Kip also cited the financial challenge tolls would present to his many employees who use the interstate on a regular basis.”

Gabler also suggested the commission look to clean up its own house before taking on any other ventures.

“Its first charge should be getting out from under the dark cloud hanging over them,” commented Gabler. “The commission is being investigated by the FBI, and a statewide grand jury has been impaneled to investigate patronage and ‘pay-to-play’ contracts. The last thing we should be doing is trusting what appears to be a poorly managed, suspect organization like the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

“The allegations its officials are facing already call into question their ability to manage Interstates 70, 76 and 476. Adding I-80 to that list is out of the question.”

e-mail from House Republican Public Relations

Comments

Eric said…
It's good to see that at least one news organization above I-80 understands the significance and ramifications of this proposal. What proponents of this scheme fail to realize is that truckers will start using back roads instead of I-80. Hence, the money that supposedly would go to maintaining the road would not be there, and the back roads will need to be repaired more often. Where are the local municipalities going to get money for that? Should the truckers choose to pay the tolls, the extra cost will get passed on to the companies that use their services -- Zippo, Saint-Gobain, Domtar, Temple-Inland, etc. Think about this!

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