The authorities formed to collect the tolls were formed and I believe it is in their Charter that the monies collected are to be used for maintainence of the roads and bridges, YES.
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From what I remember, when they put in I-95 through NY the tolls were to be temporary. When the roadway was paid for the tolls would be removed. I believe they were built in the late 50’s, the tolls were $ .25. Yeah you guessed it. The tolls are still being collected and have increased to $1.50 the last time I went through there.
It is always nice to head west and run out of tolls. We tend to avoid the toll roads and Interstates in general as much as possible. We’re not in any hurry and the secondary roads are much more scenic.
...as money collected in tolls is supposed to be going to maintain those roads and bridges.
What's the basis for that 'supposed to'? Operating bylaws? charter? opinion of a certain class of users?
Money is currently being diverted to the 9/11 Memorial construction project which is grossly overbudget and toll money is going to make up a deficit that no one can really explain (not saying this is not a worthy site to build, but not with toll money while roads are in terrible disrepair). Also money is being diverted to the subways and the airports. Basically, no money is going back to the maintenance of the roads, bridges, and tunnels that the tolls are being collected and raised on. This is the basis for the current AAA legal battle against the MTA and the Port Authority of NY/NJ.
The last idiot who ran our state (PA) worked long, and hard to toll RT 80. fortunately, the feds. stopped him. The economic damage to the transportation, distribution and manufacturing industries along the highway would of been devastating and the jobs losses severe. IMHO, tolling interstates or selling them to foreign interests that recover their costs with tolls, is wrong. The road is built and maintained with a great deal of federal money, it's a public road, not a cash cow for a poorly run state or local government.