Reason Foundation: Boost tolls to pay for highway projects

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"The current transportation funding system is failing and won't be able to rebuild or upgrade the Interstate system," Reason's Director of Transportation Policy Robert Poole said in a statement announcing the new study. "This study shows that alternative financing, via all-electronic tolling, is a feasible way to transform the Interstate system."

The study found that "modest" tolling of existing highways would provide enough funding to cover reconstruction of highways that are in need of repair in 37 states.

The study drew praise from the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA).

IBTTA Director Patrick Jones called the study “a serious effort to examine the costs of reconstructing and widening our 50-year-old Interstate highway system using all-electronic tolling.

"When the Interstate highway system was first being built in the 1950s, the emphasis was on paying to get it built, creating an interconnected national system and creating immediate jobs and economic growth," Jones said in a statement.

"The Highway Trust Fund is one valuable tool to maintain roadways, bridges, and tunnels, but it is not funded at a level needed to address the rebuilding of our Interstate system," he continued. "The recommendations outlined in the Reason Foundation report are critical to helping bridge the huge funding gap to fund our nation’s transportation infrastructure.  Tolling is one proven funding option to address this huge gap.”

The full Reason report on tolling can be read here.