The Federal Highway Administration on Sept. 11 turned down Pennsylvania’s proposal to put tolls on the state’s stretch of Interstate 80, part of a plan to fund roads and transit in the state. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission would lease I-80 from the state transportation department, using the new tolls to make lease payments. FHWA said the state did not show the lease payments “are legitimate operating costs.” Chuck Ardo, press secretary to Gov. Edward Rendell (D), says, “Now we are back to an era of uncertainty.”
Still in play is a $12.8-billion bid from a team led by Citi Infrastructure Investors and Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras to lease the turnpike for 75 years. Proceeds would go for roads and transit, but it requires state legislature approval.