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Updated Feb 27, 2013 - 1:09 pm

Protesters believe toll roads in Arizona's future

PHOENIX -- The future is now for dozens of people who gathered at the State Capitol Wednesday to protest toll roads, of which there are none in Arizona.

But the protesters believe they're coming.

Al Tracy said he believed Arizonans will be paying to drive on some freeways within the next year.

"We dodged the bullet last year when (Arizona Department of Transportation) was considering turning a 30-mile stretch of Interstate 15 in northwestern Arizona into a toll road," the protester said.

Lori Brewer also believes tolls on the roads are in the future.

"It's double taxation and we already pay fuel taxes. Once the first toll road happens it opens the doors to multiple toll roads. Just like they have in California and Texas," she said.

ADOT issued the following statement:

"Given the funding gap between the need for future transportation options and the reality of insufficient funds to pay for them, the state has established a program allowing for the exploration of public-private partnerships, which include toll roads. But no toll road proposals are on the map at this time.

"ADOT adds that current gasoline taxes haven't changed since 1992 and don't provide the same level of funding that they once did to support highway maintenance and construction."

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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