AP NEWS

Letter to the editor: No tolls Connecticut

March 23, 2019

No tolls ConnecticutTo the editor:I am writing to express my opposition to highway tolls in Connecticut.I am a field service engineer and travel in-between at least two dozen states throughout the county every year for my customers, and I also travel in-between a half-dozen different cities in different states for my family. And tolls are already a financial burden for both my business and household budgets, and I cannot personally afford any more new tolls in any state.We also have a newly elected freshman senator from Westport who is now a member of the state transportation committee who claims he ran his campaign on tolls, and I have two main questions or concerns for the senator and those who may support tolls.Do you realize if Connecticut reinstates or places any new tolls on any pre-existing interstate highways or bridges like Interstate 95, Interstate 84 and/or the Gold Star Memorial Bridge — and that all the other states start duplicating this same bad public policy for upkeep of our public roads and bridges and start putting new tolls up on interstates too — that it will become too cost prohibitive for anyone to travel and/or to ship commence anywhere, especially across state boundaries nationwide?Also do you realize that the bad public policy of taking turnpike-specific toll money to pay for a statewide P3 private-public partnership, rapid bridge repair program, which includes bridges that are not part of the turnpike system, is already drastically failing in Pennsylvania? Whereas the Turnpike Commission already is $11 billion in debt and has already missed three payments to the state, and also that the Turnpike Commission has had to raise the turnpike toll rates every year in a row for the last 11 years.I am not against the upkeep of our public transportation infrastructure. I am against the bad public policies like tolls to finance it, and would like to ask what ever happened all to the money that went into the Special State Transportation fund after the Mianus River Bridge collapse that was supposed to prevent infrastructure structure failures like this from occurring again. And why has none of this money from 1983 to now has gone towards the proper upkeep of the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, whereas we now have crumbling pieces of concrete falling from the bridge into the river below?We just cannot keep giving the state any more “transportation” money when the state is not properly prioritizing and managing the “transportation” money we’re already suppose to have. And tolls will not ever solve the problem because they will just make travel and moving commerce too expensive, without ever providing the proper financial solution for our transportation upkeep needs.Brian HutchingsPawcatuck