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County wants toll-free turnpike

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - County officials believe wiping out tolls on the Florida Turnpike will help relieve traff...


PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – County officials believe wiping out tolls on the Florida Turnpike will help relieve traffic congestion on Interstate 95, but state transportation officials disagree.

According to a report in The Palm Beach County Register, the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization is so sure about the benefits of a toll-free turnpike that it’s willing to spend US$50,000 to study turnpike operations. It would look at the amount of tolls collected in Palm Beach County and how the money is spent.

But Florida Turnpike officials counter that computer-generated models show that I-95 traffic would increase five to 20 per cent and the Florida Turnpike would see a 50 to 80 per cent increase in traffic. As well, traffic on the state turnpike is reportedly growing 6 to 8 per cent a year.

Florida turnpike director, James Ely, says tolls are needed to fund roadwork and the construction of new toll plazas, as well as to pay off US$1.8 in bonds for projects that have been completed.


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