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March 23, 2010 5:00 PM, EDT

LaHood Says Feds Close to Decision on I-80 Tolls

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the federal government is close to a decision on whether to allow Pennsylvania to toll Interstate 80 as part of that state’s transportation funding plan.

LaHood said the Department of Transportation had agreed to “have one more meeting about this proposal” with Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) and then would be making a final decision.

That meeting will take place this week and DOT will issue its final ruling shortly afterward, he said Monday at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s annual legislative conference,

“This is a very important transportation issue for the state,” LaHood said. “It’ll be settled soon.”

The plan to toll I-80 is a key component of the state’s Act 44 funding plan, raising hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for highways, bridges and transit projects around the state.

The Bush administration rejected Pennsylvania’s bid to toll I-80 in 2008, but the state reapplied shortly after President Obama took office.

By Sean McNally
Senior Reporter

(Click here for previous coverage.)