Obama cabinet member says no to Chafee I-95 tolls ideaMay 11th, 2011 at 9:32 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Tim White landed an exclusive interview on Tuesday with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood – as well as Senators Reed and Whitehouse – to discuss Rhode Island’s new $28 million in rail funding.
But the real news was what LaHood had to say about Governor Chafee’s proposal to put tolls on Interstate 95:
President Obama’s transportation secretary is throwing cold water on Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s proposal to put tolls on I-95 as a way of paying for road repairs.
“If a state or a governor or DOT wants to add capacity or two lanes on each side, we think that’s a good use of tolls and we have supported that kind of approach,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with WPRI 12.
“We don’t support the kind of approach, though, for roads that have already been built with taxpayer dollars then to be tolled,” LaHood said.
Chafee’s budget proposal for 2011-12 calls for a study to examine the possibility of adding tolls to Rhode Island highways, including I-95, to pay for a backlog of infrastructure projects, not additional lanes.
A spokesman for the governor was not immediately available for comment.
While it’s possible there’s some sort of wiggle room in LaHood’s statement about “adding capacity,” it seemed clear to me he was not in favor of tolls that pay for infrastructure repairs.