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Connecticut Proposes I-684 Toll, New York May Fight Back

JJ Bers
I-684 goes for about 28 miles through New York, but a tiny piece of it is in Greenwich, and on the northbound side, Connecticut lawmakers want to put up a toll gantry.

A New York lawmaker is fighting Connecticut’s plan to toll a stretch of an Empire State highway that briefly cuts through southwest Connecticut.

Democrats, including Gov. Ned Lamont, support a plan to toll only trucks across 12 bridges in Connecticut.

But New York state Sen. Pete Harckham isn’t happy about a proposed toll gantry for the part of I-684 that crosses the border into Greenwich for just 1.4 miles.

“That will fall predominantly on the backs of New York state businesses -- and this is a stretch of highway that Connecticut doesn’t have access or egress to -- so my constituents are hopping mad about that,” said Harckham, a Democrat.

Lamont spokesperson Max Reiss said in a written statement that the toll plan represents the needs of Connecticut families and businesses.

“Gov. Ned Lamont has heard from Connecticut families and businesses that he must make investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure to the benefit of all Connecticut residents, and that is exactly what he is going to do,” Reiss said.

Harckham said he thinks the toll plan is even worse because Connecticut doesn’t take care of the roads the way his state does.

“Since the administration of Governor [Nelson] Rockefeller, New York state has provided all of the services on Connecticut’s portion of 684 -- road repairs, fire and emergency responses, state police patrol, snow plowing, removal of deer carcasses -- everything,” Harckham said.

In response to the toll proposal, he is calling on New York to put up its own tolls along the border: on Routes 116, 35 and 123, all near Ridgefield; on Routes 124 and 137 near New Canaan; and on the Hutchinson River Parkway just past Greenwich.

Harckham insists he’s not trying to participate in a “tolling war.”

“We want to try and find some regional solutions,” he said.

Frankie Graziano is the host of 'The Wheelhouse,' focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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