SNOW SHOE TOWNSHIP, CENTRE COUNTY - Truckers taking a break along Interstate 80 Tuesday are happy the Federal Department of Transportation has rejected Governor Rendell's proposal to toll I-80. This had been the state's third attempt to place tolls on the East/West thoroughfare.
Truckers said they expected the U.S. DOT to approve the plan since a more than $400 million chunk of the state budget relied on expected toll revenues from the I-80. They still believe secondary roadways across the state were not prepared to take on the added traffic the tolls would divert onto them.
"If they make it a toll road, I'll guarantee you I'll be on 322 Old 22, any back road I can find because I won't run (I-80)," Truck Driver Scott Nye said.
Another trucker told WTAJ News every citizen in North Central Pennsylvania would be paying more for goods if this plan had been approved.
"It affects too many things. People in the area get their products to market and stuff, and costs are going up and they don't want the drivers to do it, but drivers are going to raise costs," Philip Lauer said.
5th District United States Congressman Glenn Thompson released a statement Tuesday afternoon supporting the rejection. He said quote, "This is the third time Federal Highway Administration has turned down the application, and we can only hope the third time is the charm, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Governor and leaders in Harrisburg will get realistic about the Commonwealth’s transportation future."
Stay with WTAJ News for continuing coverage of the tolling debate.