I-80 Toll Road Bill Filed In Wyoming Legislature
A bill that could eventually lead to making Interstate 80 in Wyoming a toll road has once again been filed in the Wyoming Legislature.
It's sponsored by Sen. Cale Case [R-Fremont County]. Case sponsored a similar bill in 2021 which passed the Wyoming Senate on a 16-13 vote. But it was not approved in the Wyoming House. Another such bill went down to defeat in the legislature in 2020, losing on an 18-11 vote in the Senate.
Even if the bill were to become law, a number of questions about the basic concept behind the proposal would remain. Not least is whether the federal government would allow Wyoming to impose tolls on a national interstate.
SF 160 creates a state tolling program and a commission to oversee the program. It does not set specific tolls, and a fiscal note attached to the bill by the legislative service office says the agency has not yet had time to analyze the fiscal impact. The bill was filed on Monday, January 23.
The idea of making I-80 a toll road is not new, in fact, it's been under discussion since at least 2010 when the state conducted a study of the concept.
Supporters generally have argued that it would be an important fundraising measure to keep the interstate in good condition.
They also say that much of the money raised would be paid by non-residents who comprise a large portion of the traffic on the interstate. But opponents say it would present a hardship to Wyoming residents and might discourage truckers from using the interstate in favor of highways that would not be tolled. That, in turn, could have an economic impact on businesses such as truck stops along the interstate.
But toll road supporters argue that the impact on commercial truck traffic would be minimal.
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