Arizona Seeks Federal Approval to Toll I-15

AASHTO Journal, 28 October 2011

The Arizona Department of Transportation has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation for authority to begin tolling Interstate 15 in the state’s far northwest corner, the Arizona Republicreported this week. The 29-mile section of interstate, which carries traffic between Utah and Nevada, needs more than $251 million in repairs.The Arizona requested consideration for its tolling proposal under the USDOT’s Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program. According to the Arizona Republic story, Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor Mendez responded to the ADOT request with a letter that explained the FHWA’s review “will likely take time.”

Arizona currently does not have any toll roads in the state. However, Arizona officials say tolls are under consideration among possible transportation funding sources.

“The state has a duty to maintain those bridges (on I-15) and make them safe,” ADOT Director John Halikowski told the Arizona Republic. “That’s my priority. How it gets funded is not my priority.”

In September, Virginia officials announced that they had received preliminary approval from FHWA to toll I-95 at the North Carolina border under the federal tolling pilot program (see Sept. 23 AASHTO Journal story). VDOT estimates it could generate $250 million over the first five years of the toll program and more than $50 million annually thereafter. These toll revenues would help fund capacity expansion, operational and safety improvements, and pavement and structure reconstruction and rehabilitation throughout the corridor.

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