A bill is underway in Wyoming to turn I-80 into a toll road and use the money raised to add a third lane in both directions. The new lane would be available to cars and passenger vehicles only.
Like most states, Wyoming is way behind on its infrastructure funding. According to Wyoming Department of Transportation’s chief deputy engineer, there isn’t enough money to maintain the state’s roads even when federal money is taken into account.
State Senator Michael Von Flatern is the legislator spearheading the fight for new tolls. According to a report published in the Star Tribune, Von Flatern told reporters that he hopes to toll I-80 in part because of the bad weather they experienced this year. Von Flatern complained that closures along I-80 prevented lawmakers from being able to travel home on weekends.
Supporters of the idea hope that adding a third lane usable only by cars and passenger vehicles could also help cut down on traffic deaths. Eight fatalities were recorded on I-80 in Wyoming during the first half of March.
Wyoming isn’t the only state in the country that’s considering tolling interstates. It’s not even the only state that’s considering tolling I-80. A similar proposal has been introduced Illinois to turn a portion of I-80 near Joliet into a toll road.