PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A proposal for truck-only tolls on Connecticut highways could lead to lawsuits, and even a border war.
Westchester County says their neighbors to the north are making a money grab, and it’s ready to fight.
The plan to toll the stretch of I-684 in Connecticut could really burn Robison Oil of Westchester County.
“We’re based in Port Chester, so any time we’re going up to the northern part of the county, we’re traveling on that corridor,” Dan Singer, CEO of Robison Oil, said.
Singer says his trucks make hundreds of trips a month on 684, which cuts through a sliver of Connecticut less than two miles long. There’s not even an exit into the Nutmeg State.
The proposed $6 truck toll would cost Robison thousands of dollars a year.
“Putting tolls on a stretch of roadway that doesn’t even service the Connecticut community, and it’s a roadway, as I understand it, which is maintained by New York state. It seems completely nonsensical and a money grab,” Singer said.
Westchester County fears trucks would bypass the 684 toll by diverting to narrow local roads between Exits 2 and 3.
The Westchester County executive warns the Connecticut tolling plan might even spark a good old-fashioned border war, raising the specter of New York retaliating by putting a toll on I-95 where Greenwich meets Port Chester.
“I don’t believe in border toll wars and so forth, but similarly, I think it’s completely inappropriate for Connecticut to put a toll on 684. I’m not sure they can legally do it without New York support since it is a federal highway,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.
Friday in Hartford, at a public hearing on the toll plan, supporters say it will raise money Connecticut desperately needs.
“This commercial truck only tolling program will allow Connecticut to avoid raising the gas tax, increasing fares or cutting bus and rail services,” said Melissa McCaw, an aide to Gov. Ned Lamont.
But if the final plan includes a 684 toll, New York is likely to sue.