I-80 Tolling Bill Stalls In House Committee

Mar 30, 2021

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The Wyoming House Transportation Committee voted to table a bill that would have kicked off the effort of tolling Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming.

The Senate had passed the bill, but the committee in a straw poll at the beginning of the meeting didn't express much interest in passing it.

However, the committee said it should be discussed further.

"We were going to look at this in the interim and potentially before the special session," Chairman Donald Burkhart said to the bill's sponsor Lander Sen. Cale Case. "I think it's something we need to further and look at further develop and would ask for your help and input as we go forward."

Case said lawmakers need to seriously consider tolling as a method to cover the costs of maintenance of I-80.

"I am terrified. What's going to happen to Wyoming if we don't keep our infrastructure, if we can't maintain that road, if we can't begin to partially solve the big revenue and expenditure problems?" Case asked the committee. "It can make Wyoming kind of a ghost town."

The bill would have allowed the Wyoming Department of Transportation to express interest to the federal government about a tolling program and for the department to begin planning.

It would have allowed the state to potentially get into the federal Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, which has very few slots for states, according to WYDOT Director Luke Reiner.

Reiner added the state would have to work with the federal government to get started because of the federal laws surrounding tolling.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.