Anti-Tolling Coalition Opposes Tolls for PennDot's I-83 South Bridge Project


The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates (ATFI) on Nov. 17, 2021, filed public comments opposing the use of tolling to fund the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Interstate-83 South Bridge project. 

PennDOT has proposed implementing tolls on bridges in nine counties that carry Interstates 78, 79, 80, 81, 83 and 95 and is currently soliciting public comments on five of the projects. 

ATFI said in its comments that tolls will impose onerous costs on small businesses located near the I-83 South Bridge as well as their employees. The tolls also will double tax motorists who already pay for Interstate highways through the motor fuel taxes they pay each time they fill up their gas tank. 

“As the I-83 South Bridge Project is discussed, ATFI’s members – thousands of private citizens and numerous businesses and organizations – urge the Governor, General Assembly and P3 Board to fully reject tolling of existing interstates,” ATFI said in its comments. 

A bill to void the plan to add tolls on nine Pennsylvania bridges to fund their repair or reconstruction passed the state House Nov. 16 although the legislation requires one more Senate vote, and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is opposed. State representatives voted 125-74 for a proposal that would require legislative approval of specific proposals to add tolls. 

NATSO member Onvo in April submitted a letter to the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee opposing the bridge tolls in advance of a Committee hearing. 

In its letter, Onvo said, “It cannot be overstated how negatively PennDOT’s Major Bridge P-3 program would hurt our company.” If PennDOT implements the bridge tolls, Onvo estimates that business will decline as much as 50 percent or more as customers divert onto non-tolled routes.

ATFI also testified at a field hearing hosted by U.S. Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in Clarion, Pennsylvania, to examine PennDOT’s P3 Major Bridge Tolling Proposals.

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