Thursday, March 27, 2008

McElhany's I-70 Toll Bill Passes Senate Committee

A bill that would require all motorists on I-70 to pay a toll at the Eisenhower tunnel cleared a Senate committee today.

SB 213, sponsored by Sen. Andy McElhany, R-Colorado Springs, was approved on a 5-2 vote. Among the senators voting "yes" were five co-sponsors of the measure.

The decision by the Senate Transportation Committee came after about two hours of testimony. Most of the witnesses testifying before the committee spoke against the bill. In fact, other than McElhany, the only person speaking in favor of the bill was Denver Chamber of Commerce president Joe Blake.

McElhany's bill would authorize the state to collect a toll of up to $5 on all cars and trucks moving in both directions on I-70.

McElhany, who is the Senate minority leader, said his bill aims only to secure a mechanism for funding whatever recommendations come out of the state department of transportation I-70 study process now underway.

The committee killed a competing proposal by Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver. SB 209 would have charged tolls on vehicles with less than three occupants only at peak travel times.