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States Turning To New Tolls To Pay For Highways

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — Driving onto an Interstate highway? Crossing a bridge on the way into work? Taking a tunnel under a river or bay? Get ready to pay.

With Congress unwilling to contemplate an increase in the federal gas tax, motorists are likely to be paying ever more tolls as the government searches for ways to repair and expand the nation’s congested highways.

Tolling is less efficient and sometimes can seem less fair than the main alternative, gasoline taxes. It can increase traffic on side roads as motorists seek to evade paying. Some tolling authorities — often quasi-governmental agencies operating outside the public eye — have been plagued by mismanagement. Tolls are hardly a perfect solution. But to many states and communities, they’re the best option available.

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