Article related to incorporating the then-existing toll roads into the Interstate System, dated May, 1955


BPR Recommends That They Be Included in Interstate System, With Qualifications, But Receive No Federal-Aid

By NHUC Research Department

Continuation of existing Federal policy against tolls on Federal-aid highways and a change in the law to permit inclusion of toll roads in the Interstate System under certain conditions have been recommended by the Bureau of Public Roads.  A toll road report (H. Doc 139) was prepared pursuant to Congressional directive in Section 13 of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1954 with the aid of information supplied by state highway departments.

The BPR recommends that toll roads be included in the Interstate System when they meet the standards and when they are reasonably satisfactory alternate free roads on the Federal-aid primary or secondary systems which permit traffic to bypass the toll road.  This recommendation is made, the report states, to meet present-day conditions, since a number of toll roads in operation, under construction or authorized, lie along the preferred location of Interstate routes and duplication of these roads would generally be an economic waste.

An additional 6,700 miles on the Interstate System would be feasible for toll financing at an estimated cost of $4,260 million, the report finds.  This mileage is in addition to that now adequately improved or scheduled soon to be made adequate, either as toll roads or free roads.

The greatest uncertainty affecting feasible mileage of toll financing, the report states, is as to the policies of the states and the Federal government in providing public funds for improvement of the Interstate System.  "Assurance of public funds to provide reasonably timely completion of the system would soon spell the end of revenue bond financing of roads in the system.  Continuation of the present inadequate allocation of funds to this system, however, can only serve to increase the mileage that would be potentially feasible as toll roads."

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