January 16, 2007 10:15 AM, EST

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Considers Tolling Other Roads

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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has come up with an alternative to privatizing the turnpike of putting tolls on other highways, the Associated Press reported.The commission proposes using unspecified high-tech equipment to collect tolls on highways that are now free, AP said, citing a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story.It suggested Interstate 80 would be a good first choice as a major east-west artery. Tolls on I-80 could raise “tens of millions of dollars,” Turnpike Commission Chief Executive Officer Joe Brimmeier told the Post-Gazette, AP said.Brimmeier said the proposal to create more toll roads would add more money to the state’s transportation department than privatizing roads, AP said.The commission was among about four dozen groups that offered to help state policymakers who want to determine the value of leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike, AP reported.Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) last month invited the proposals in an effort to generate more state transportation funds. (Click here for previous coverage.)The other proposals generated by Rendell's request came from companies that already operate toll roads and bridges, and some from investment firms, AP said.