Permits the Department of Transportation to consider electronic tolling at the Dover and/or Rochester tolling facilities along the Spaulding Turnpike, and/or the Hooksett ramp tolling facility, and install electronic tolling with approval from the Governor and Legislature. The Senate amended the bill to also set up a system to use an electronic toll transponder anonymously.
The $3.7 billion, ten-year transportation plan authorized in July 2016 does not include any proposed toll hikes or new tolls.
Back in 2013, then Department of Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement warned that a $1.3 billion budget shortfall could lead to new tolls or existing toll hikes. But the final plan contained a newly approved $2.56 billion in federal funding which made up for the shortfall.
The transportation plan budgeted $34 million for conversion to "open road" or high-speed tolling at the Bedford, Dover and Rochester Toll Plazas.
Tolls at exit 10,11 and 12 of the Everett Turnpike were constructed in 1989 as part of a deal that brought the the city of Merrimack nearly $50 million of road improvements related to industrial development. Long-term bonds still need to be paid off for the Merrimack upgrades between now and 2022. Merrimack residents argue that the Everett Turnpike tolls are unfair since other communities have not paid for infrastructure improvements with tolls.
There are no new tolls currently included in the state's transportation plan.
Opponents of new tolls often argue that drivers will divert from the highway, clogging local roads. Opponents have also argued that new tolls would discourage tourism to New Hampshire.
Supporters of new tolls, however, argue the money is crucial to fund bridge repairs, road maintenance and other needs.
In a 2015 survey of LFDA members, 86% said they would not support toll increases.
Establishes prepaid road tolls for motor vehicles powered by alternative energy sources, such as batteries, solar cells, and natural gas. The House amended the bill to only create a prepaid road toll for electric vehicles.
Establishes a committee to study the feasibility of privatizing the New Hampshire toll system.
Provides that a person having the exclusive right to use a vehicle pursuant to a court order following a final hearing on the merits is the vehicle’s owner for purposes of electronic toll collection.
Establishes a commission to study revenue alternatives to the gas tax for the funding of the state’s highways and bridges.
Removes all tolls in Merrimack.
Increases the gas tax by four-cents per gallon and removes the toll at Exit 12 in Merrimack.
Removes the tolls at Exit 12 in Merrimack.
Should NH increase tolls and/or add new toll booths?
There are no toll increases in the state's recently-passed ten-year transportation plan, but it does call for a switch to all-electronic or "open road" tolling in Rochester and Dover, a change estimated to take place by 2021. The DOT is also looking at swapping the Bedford tolls to either all-electronic or a hybrid system, with both cash and high-speed all-electric tolling lanes.
Rep. Michael Abbott has proposed a bill for 2019 that would increase the road toll and providing funding for state road and bridge projects. The details are not yet public.
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