Governor Gary R. Herbert has issued the following statement regarding the Arizona Department of Transportation’s application to the Federal Highway Administration to allow the imposition of tolls on the 29.4-mile stretch of Interstate 15 within Arizona’s border.
“I strongly oppose any plans to levy tolls on Arizona’s portion of I-15, or on any portion of I-15,” said Governor Herbert. “Every state pays into the Highway Trust Fund, and every state receives money from the Highway Trust Fund to maintain the segments of the Interstate Highway System inside their respective borders. Arizona cannot pick and choose which parts of our national interstate network it wants to maintain. If Arizona has been negligent in its maintenance of I-15, it should not try and foist its responsibility onto highway users or neighboring states who already pay into the system with their own tax dollars.”
Interstate 15 is an integral part of the Interstate Highway System which connects the Rocky Mountain region with Southern California. Approximately 12 miles of the 29.4-mile Arizona section of I-15 pass through the Virgin River Gorge. All eight of the bridges within the Virgin River Gorge section of I-15 have been judged as deficient or near-deficient by the Arizona Department of Transportation and in need of replacement. In addition, other major repairs and safety improvements along Arizona’s entire portion of I-15 need to be completed.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has filed an “expression of interest” with the Federal Highway Administration to allow the state to apply to participate in a pilot interstate tolling program for its portion of I-15 in order to generate funds for I-15 repairs. Documents released by the Arizona Department of Transportation indicate electronic tolling technologies could be used to exempt Arizona residents who live in proximity to I-15 from the tolls.