States Push to Toll Interstates

Detouring trucks around the crumbling I-95 crossing of RI's Pawtucket River epitomizes reasons states have found to raise road money with tolls

Road maintenance and construction needs in Rhode Island are piling up. A recent study shows that the state must spend about $300 million more a year just to keep its current roads and bridges in good repair. That is twice as much as the state typically spends.

There is an obvious way to pay for the needed upkeep — make Interstate 95 into a toll road as it crosses the state. But that idea may be illegal. Ever since the interstate system was built, Congress has prohibited states from charging tolls on highways built with federal money.

(More on states' drive for toll roads . . . )