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January 17, 2020
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Politics

I-684 construction earlier this year.
I-684 construction earlier this year. Photo Credit: New York State Police

Connecticut Tolls On Westchester Interstate?

The state of Connecticut plans to charge tolls on a 1.4 mile stretch of Interstate-684 where the highway leaves Westchester County and passes through Greenwich, CT. 

A group of New York elected officials upset by Connecticut's toll plan announced their own counterproposal on Monday, Dec. 16.

State Sen. Peter Harckham, during a news conference at Lewisboro Town House in South Salem, said that Connecticut motorists should be charged tolls to pass into various New York communities unless a compromise between the states can be reached. 

New tolls are supported by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who lives in Greenwich. Medium-sized trucks would be charged $1.25. Heavy trucks would be charged $6.40.

The newly-added tolls would pay for a $13 million restoration of Connecticut's causeway over the Byram River, state officials have said.

“Making this even more galling,” Harckham said, “is that since the administration of Governor (Nelson) Rockefeller, New York state has provided all of the services on Connecticut’s portion of 684: road repairs, fire and emergency responses, state police patrol, snow plowing, removal of deer carcasses -- everything.”

“In this prevailing situation where there is no cooperation between Connecticut and New York, I would say that we then have no choice but to propose our own tolls on all Connecticut drivers and use the raised revenue to repair New York roads,” Harckham said. 

Harckham proposed state legislation that would set up a series of tolls: on Route 116 in North Salem, on Routes 35 and 123 in Lewisboro, and Routes 124 and 137 in Pound Ridge as well as a toll on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Rye Brook and elsewhere along the Connecticut border, as necessary.

Joining Harckham on Monday were Lewisboro Supervisor Peter Parsons and Pound Ridge Supervisor Kevin Hansan.

Parsons and Hansan predict that new Connecticut tolls will prompt I-684 motorists to leave the highway and use local roads to avoid paying tolls. That will cause additional local traffic jams and increase the risk of accidents in Lewisboro, Pound Ridge and North Salem, the officials said. 

"Tolls in lower Connecticut will have an adverse effect on New York border towns like Pound Ridge, as drivers will revert to using our local roads to avoid these tolls," Hansan said. "Our roads were not constructed to handle so much through traffic. The State of Connecticut should really ask themselves if the unintended consequences of having drivers taking alternate routes to avoid tolls is worth the safety of Connecticut and New York residents.”