Current estimates say the Ohio River Bridges Project will cost about 4.1 billion dollars. In order to meet some of that cost, the Bridges Authority has called for one-dollar tolls to be placed on all existing bridges, beginning soon. And commuters who use the bridges on a daily basis are not happy.
And why should they be?
Sure, the money does have to come from somewhere. But that's the real question: Where should it come from?
I say building bridges – especially when they connect interstates -- is the proper business of federal and state government. It isn't an issue to be dealt with locally. We've already paid plenty for this purpose in the form of gas taxes and other road taxes, and it's up to the government to allocate that money so necessary projects can be completed without imposing yet another tax on citizens.
Besides, what real purpose could these tolls serve? Given current levels of daily bridge traffic and the Authority's estimate that tolls would pay about a third of the total bill, it would take over 52 years to generate that much revenue – and that's without even considering the cost of collection or interest.
There are many things the government has no business meddling with. But bridge building is exactly the kind of thing it should be doing. If it would properly allocate its existing resources, we wouldn't have to be talking about tolls.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.