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Toll plan blocked, residents overjoyed

Last year Governor Wolf and PennDOT proposed the plan using tolls to fund nine interstate bridge projects.

WHITE HAVEN, Pa. — Some residents of White Haven are overjoyed to hear that plans to toll some interstate bridges have been stopped by the commonwealth court. 

"I think it's great because I thought it was bought and paid for so why would we have to pay for it again," said Frank Staines, White Haven.

Last year Governor Wolf and PennDOT proposed using tolls to fund nine interstate bridge projects.

One of those bridges was the Lehigh River bridge on Interstate 80 in White Haven.

Residents tell Newswatch 16 they are breathing a sigh of relief hearing the plans won't be moving forward.

"I'm glad it's not happening because gas prices are so high and besides, the turnpike is already so high, I don't even take the turnpike anymore because it's too expensive to drive," said Frank Staines, White Haven.

Residents expressed concerns when the proposal was first announced about the possibility of increased traffic through town.

"It would have only made a lot of hassle for these towns because tractors and trailers, and carts would just be driving through town trying to get around the bridge anyway," said Sam Gerhard, White Haven.

Others we spoke with say they understand why people are excited to hear the proposed plans have been blocked- but are now thinking long-term about where infrastructure funding will come from.

"It's nice in the short run but where are they going to get the money from other than that? I'm a firm believer that you pay taxes on things that you use so if they are now going to run short on money hopefully that doesn't come out of our state income tax or some other tax we'll get hit for later on," said Stanley Boc, Philadelphia.

Along with stopping the tolling plan, the commonwealth court also ruled that PennDOT must stop all studies about bridge tolling along with any planned hearings, meetings, and spending.

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