Tolls Could Mean a Pricey Trip Through Missouri

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- How would you like to pay $20 to $30 in tolls to drive across Missouri on I-70? That's a possibility if a Missouri lawmaker gets his way.

The tolls probably wouldn't exist in Kansas City. Under MoDOT's plan, they would start in Independence where I-70 meets I-470 and they wouldn't be cheap. MoDOT says the nation's oldest interstate needs an additional lane in each direction and all pavement needs to be replaced. That would cost $2 to $4 billion.

One possible solution is a 200 mile toll road between I-470 in Independence and I-64 near Wentzville. The state says drivers might pay $20 to $30 each way. Truckers would pay two to three times that rate.

"Truckers, especially small business truckers are very concerned about added costs to their bottom line," said Norita Taylor.

Taylor is with the trucking group OOIDA which has already printed stickers that say Tolls are Taxes.

"You're already putting money into the highway with fuel taxes and so by adding a toll on top of that, that's basically equivalent to double taxation," Taylor said.

Toll roads are getting another look because there's never any political will power from lawmakers for the other alternative, raising fuel taxes at your local gas station.

Based on the people FOX 4 talked to, tolls aren't popular either.

"I mean if they did that I wouldn't drive I-70 honestly," said Cody Pearce from Grain Valley. "I'd find a different way."

That may be a bluff since secondary roads would get clogged pretty fast but the problem for politicians and transportation experts remains the same, no public support to pay for repaving I-70.

"I understand that the roads need to be repaired but I don't know that I agree with raising our taxes to make that happen," said driver Corey Abrams. :I'm not in government so I don't know how to make that happen."

Under the toll road measure sponsored by a Jefferson City Republican, a private company would fix I-70 in exchange for the right to charge tolls.

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