Tolling I-15 is a good idea from ADOT

There’s a 29-mile section of Interstate 15 that cuts across Arizona’s northwest corner that’s noteworthy for its limited access — if you live south of the Grand Canyon, the only way you can get to it without crossing into Nevada or Utah is to make a long detour and drive dirt roads.

Completed in 1973, parts of Arizona’s I-15 are well over 40 years old, the expected lifespan of most roads. Part of I-15 was the most expensive section of interstate in the nation until Boston’s Big Dig surpassed it. That’s because it passes through the Virgin River Gorge, an expensive routing the federal government insisted on and ultimately completed by having Utah make some of its federal road funding available to this state.

Now, this expensive highway needs to be rebuilt and Arizonans, few of whom directly benefit from it, will have to pick up something in the neighborhood of 40 percent of the tab.

That’s why the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is pushing for that section of I-15 to be included as one of three interstate highway toll pilot projects. Those who use that section of highway should be the ones who pay for it.

Come to think of it, if that had been the case all along, maybe the feds would not have insisted it be built along the most expensive possible route in the first place.

ADOT has made a wise move and should be congratulated for it. Now they just need to get moving with a project under the public-private partnership law that is now three years old.

Dr. Byron Schlomach is the director of the Goldwater Institute’s Center for Economic Prosperity.

Learn More:

Goldwater Institute: More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in Arizona

Arizona Republic: Northern Arizona toll road weighed for Interstate 15 Interstate 15


  1. I hate toll roads and never thought I could support one in AZ. But this makes sense.

  2. Conservative American says:

    Yet another piece of “brilliant” thinking from the Goldwater Institute! Let’s get at least one toll road in Arizona to “break the ice”. Then we can put tolls on other roads! Why, that’s SO brilliant that Massachusetts, the bluest of the blue states, implemented toll roads decades ago! Nothing quite as “conservative” as advocating for a policy contrived by liberal Democrats in the last century!

  3. Veritas Vincit says:

    More proof that the G.I. has lost its ideological compass and is serving the interests of Crony Crapitalism. Lets install parking meters in the G.I. parking lot to pay for the municipal services they consume.

    Get real … I-15 is a major trucking route out of SoCal and this would simply be a tax on interstate commerce. But G.I. already knows that.

  4. PearceBOT5000 says:

    Anyone who supports this better not EVER complain about getting whacked by increasingly popular “out-of-towner” taxes incurred while traveling. Ever take a hard look at your hotel and rental car receipts? Sure hope you like paying for things like stadiums and pet projects that you’ll never use in other cities. There’s nothing quite like taxation without representation- let’s show our friends and neighbors just how welcoming we are by forcing a tax (or toll) on them in which they have no say. What goes around comes around…

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