Connecticut lawmakers pitch introducing highway tolls

HARTFORD — State lawmakers are pitching the idea of introducing electronic tolls on Connecticut's interstate highways.

Neighboring states all have tolls and lawmakers who spoke at a news conference Monday said they are needed locally to help pay for transportation projects.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has stepped up warnings about the looming insolvency of the state's main transportation fund.

Democratic state Rep. Tony Guerrera, House chair of the Transportation Committee, said tolls would help to address the poor state of many roads and bridges.

“Our roads and bridges are in bad shape,” Guerrera said. “Our funds are drying up and we as legislators have to do the right thing.” House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) added, “If you drive to New Hampshire, to Maine, to Massachusetts, to New York, to Maryland, if you drive to New Jersey what do they have? They have tolls to pay for their infrastructure.”

State Representative Gail Lavielle, a republican who serves Norwalk, Wilton, and Westport said she is against tolls for a number of reasons, one being she doesn’t believe the state will see any benefit for years.

“Everyone has to understand in every single presentation by the DOT on the possibility of tolls is that there is no way that any revenue from tolls would come before five to seven years from now.”

Guerrera said he plans to introduce his toll bill when the new session begins on February 7th.

Tolls were eliminated in Connecticut following a crash in Stratford that killed seven people in 1983.