E-Z pass fast lanes headed for York tolls?

YORK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Turnpike Authority is considering the possibility of building a multi-million dollar open road toll plaza. It would be built just north of the existing York toll plaza. It's just one of several options for handling traffic at one of the turnpike's busiest toll plazas.

The toll plaza was built 44 years ago. MTA officials say the computer software that supports it's E-Zpass toll plazas is antiquated and must be replaced. One of the options include building a 36-million dollar open-road toll plaza. It would include 9 cash lanes and allow drivers with E-Z Pass to go through a toll plaza at highway speeds. The toll plaza is similar to the tolls plazas in New Gloucester and on I-95 in Hampton, New Hampshire.

The plaza would be built on an undetermined location north of the existing plaza. A report done by an outside agency found that an all-electronic tolling system, with no cars stopping, would not be financially viable and would double the current tolls from three to 6 dollars. MTA officials say the cost of building an open road toll plaze with cash and electronic fast lanes can be spread out over a period of time.

'When you take the costs and spread it over ten to 15 years, it is actually modest and it's easier than sustaining the losses of just going to an all electronic system,' said Peter Mills, the Executive Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority..

A public hearing will be held on June 19th in Portland.


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