House Speaker says some tolls could be ready in 18 months

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HARTFORD — House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said he believes at least some electronic tolls could be installed on Connecticut highways in about 18 months.

The Democrat on Wednesday said he questions predictions that the process to install the devices could take three or more years. Aresimowicz, who represents Berlin, said lawmakers have been learning from officials in states that have implemented electronic tolls.

He said timing is important because Connecticut’s main fund for transportation projects is expected to be “pretty much emptied out” by 2020, partly because the state is not generating enough gas tax revenue.

It is unclear whether the General Assembly will authorize tolls this session. A bill recently cleared the Transportation Committee but Aresimowicz said he expects tolls would ultimately be woven into the budget or another transportation bill.