Herbert opposes I-15 toll proposal in Arizona

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  • Zadruga Guy West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    I studied this issue back in 1984 when I was a high school senior in Tempe, AZ. In a research paper I wrote for my AP English class, I recommended solving the problem by transferring the Arizona Strip (the area of Arizona that is north of the Colorado River) to Utah and transferring an equivalent amount of Utah (basically the Utah portion of the Navajo Reservation) to Arizona. It would give Utah the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Pipe Spring National Monument. It would give Monument Valley and more of Lake Powell to Arizona. Obviously this is a complex solution that would require approval from both states and the US Congress, but I think it is the best solution.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    In the more oppresive and corrupt days of ancient rome, they had this very thing. In order to walk on the roads, you had to pay. We are not in a free country where we cannot go where we wish. Nothing but oppression comes from this.

  • RShackleford Saint George, UT
    Oct. 29, 2011 7:14 a.m.

    If our Gas, Tire, and "all things automotive" (State and Federal) taxes went in to an account to fund "transportation only" related projects, We would have very nice roads and this piece of Hi-Way would be maintained without any problems.

    But the taxes are put into the General Fund. And is lost on pet projects not related to transportation.

  • boatersteve Fruit Heights, Utah
    Oct. 28, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    If Arizona this part of their state is not worth anything, I do not think Congressman Chaffetz should stop with Utah taking the road lets have Arizona deed the land to Utah as well, may be we share it with Nevada.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Some have suggested widening old highway 91 and bypassing I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge. Great idea!! Utah could erect signs along the route renaming it the "Moutain Meadows Massacre Memorial Highway".

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 28, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    BOO to Arizona! Charging toll on a freeway already paid for by taxpayer dollars (including Federal and state gasoline taxes) is nothing short of highway robbery.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    Just a couple of thoughts as I read the comments....

    1. It's interesting to note that many who hate Chaffetz actually agree with him on this issue.

    2. Many people are stuck on "how does this road BENEFIT AZ" when they should be stuck on the Constitution for interstate roads and that AZ has received funds to maintain that section of I-15.

    3. One old man: Where I grew up in AZ, we didn't hate Utah. Must be a border issue and apparently you haven't gotten over it yet.

    I thought the Left was always about what's best for the common good? Isn't it best for the "common good" that AZ maintain a part of interstate that they have received funds to do so?

    Ms. Molli: I guess we should put up a toll road on your neighborhood road since you use it we should make you pay directly for it, right? It's sad how misguided you are on all subjects...

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Oct. 28, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    Dutchman your are totally upside down. Where do you think Littlefield is? It isn't in Nevada or Utah, so where is it? The old highway did run through a part Arizona. Look at your U.S. map!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    UtahResident | 3:17 p.m. Oct. 27, 2011
    Lehi, UT
    I think that they should take away some of Arizona's highway money and give it to Utah or Nevada and then let that state maintain it for Arizona. Then it is just a business deal where one state is contracting the maintenance to another, no land swap.


    This is the perfect answer.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    Arizona gets paid for that section of the road from the federal taxes. The problem for Arizona is that it is out of sight for most of the Arizonans as it is not on one of their main roads. They accept federal dollars they also accept the responsibility for those bridges that are on Interstate 15, which is a federal road and is for Interstate trucking and vehicles. Governor Herbert with UDOT's assistance should keep I-15 a non-toll road through Arizona as it does not make sense, in this instance.

  • javinishot Provo, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 10:46 a.m.

    If Arizona could have their budget not be upside down and actually keep a grip on their money as the article says perhaps they would have the money to do what is needed on the road to maintain it. I-15 is one of the main N/S corridors of the nation and with that it connects from both of the borders mostly from Mexico to Canada. A lot of commerce is carried on that route. Taxing that would be unjust when we all are paying out taxes for the roads to begin with. Just keep a bugdet Arizona and don't go under.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    The problem is that Arizona gets no benefit from this freeway, but they are required to maintain it. Only Utah and Nevada benefit from it. I don't like it, but I don't really blame Arizona for wanting to get some compensation for having to maintain this highway. Arizona is cash strapped and may have found a way to get some cash in. This might must be bad luck for Utah and Nevada.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    An easy way to avoid paying the toll is to just take the old highway out of St George that was in use prior to the freeway through the Virgin River Gorge. Adds an hour to your drive time, but may be worth it.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    How did this area including the highway ever become part of Arizona anyway. It should be Utah territory and Utah highway. So annex the area including the highway and be done with it. Arizona is so poor. Come on. There are other highways in Arizona that don't have any economic value either. What about all the stimulus money (which we don't have) the President has already authorized to be spent on "shovel ready" jobs? This is another boondoggle. A toll road will never happen on this federal highway in the Virin River Gorge. This is a nonstarter.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 9:09 a.m.

    The problem is Arizona does not want to divert any money. This has been the problem for decades. Before the freeway was built there was no highway in this area. The old highway, U.S. 91, did not cross into Arizona. It looped out of St. George and straight into Nevada. When I-15 was designed, it was decided to take the freeway straight down the Virgin River Gorge and that would knock about an hour off the travel time. It was the most challenging and expensive piece of interstate at the time. Even then Arizona did not want anything to do with the construction so finally, frustrated and fed up, Utah and Nevada loaned or gave Arizona the money to build this section of I-15. Arizona has belly acted ever since about the up keep.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    I'm not sure how it works, but I assume to annex land between states would require unanimous majority approval from both statesplusapproval from a congress that cant agree on a debt ceiling. Too much politics for this day.

    Baby stepshave Utah (or Nevada) take responsibility of the highway away from AZ including all revenue from the shared port of entry.

    Eventually we can talk annexing.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    Ms Molli, "I think it makes sense that those who use the road should pay for it."

    That is a slippery slope to collect with tolls. With that argument, we could just set up tolls on all state borders. ...an end to the Interstate freeway system.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    I like it. Annex Littlefield, NV into Utah. Problem solved.

  • MyChildrensKeeper Taylorsville, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 6:05 a.m.

    I do agree with Herbert for a change but I think he is in it for a different reason, he's not getting any of the money from it.

    At the inception of the federal highways system known as the interstate it was declared at that time to be completely toll free roads and states are not allowed to toll them. All these roads and bridges have been receiving yearly funding to maintain them but all the states, including Utah have designated these funds as state property to be used for other than roads and this is why the interstate system in such disrepair, grand theft and larceny by every state.

    Utah's UDOT is currently spending the hundreds of billions of dollars the federal government has provided for the entire Utah state maintenance program on 50 miles of road in northern Utah alone. The rest of the state is being denied any of the repair funds to keep it all in SL county.

    The real problem of western states is their denial to accept that the economy is depressed and that government should be downsizing, cut spending, and cut growth, not up-sizing and demanding more taxes and fees.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 28, 2011 5:50 a.m.

    You would have to admit it's a brilliant idea on AZ part. They are able to put a heavy burden on non-AZ residents to cover the cost of their bridges. That makes AZ voters happy and ticks off people that can't vote them out. For AZ politicians it's a win-win situation.

    What AZ should do, is levy a tax on Mexico for every illegal that crosses it's border and have Mexico reimburse them for every illegal caught and returned to them, plus the cost of repairing bridges. Not only do you solve the money issue for bridges, but, you get rid of illegals to boot!

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Oct. 28, 2011 1:12 a.m.

    Maybe we could get Arizona to change their mind if Utah Taxpayers cough up 13 million dollars. We have done it before and darnit we can do it again!

  • Allen#1 West Valley, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Interesting to see all the right wing people complain about "those who use should pay" concept when it involves personal interests.

    Oklahoma is a Republican state and has MANY toll roads. Arizona gets little or no benefit from I-15 so why should Arizona help Utah residents drive to Nevada for their fun?

    Sounds fair for Arizona to make I-15 a toll road through the Virgin River Gorge
    but only if EVERYONE has to pay the toll (including residents of Arizona) and all funds collected were use to maintain I-15 in Arizona.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Arizona is a desperate state poking around everywhere for revenues to patch up their miserable budget situation. I applaud the Governor for registering his strong opposition. Utah should simply annex that part of Arizona.

  • jwd Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 27, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    If the Arizona DOT isn't going to maintain the interstate with the highway funds they receive then I agree, it should be deeded to Utah or Nevada so that it can be properly maintained. It would be better for one of those states to start reconstructing the road now than to wait until it becomes a logistical nightmare.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    DeltaFoxtrot, that comparison is ridiculous. Having I-80 connect Wyoming's cities to each other and to other states is absolutely vital to Wyoming's economy and Wyoming citizens' transportation. They maintain that road because their state would dry up, shrivel up, and blow away with the wind if they didn't.

    I-15 doesn't do anything for Arizona citizens' transportation needs or for the Arizona economy; the only Arizonans who are connected by it to anything are the 1000 folks in Littlefield. The two situations are completely disparate.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Oct. 27, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    Simple: Have Arizona deed the land to Utah. It then becomes Utah's problem.

  • Vince the boonies, mexico
    Oct. 27, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    I agree with the annexation idea, and while at it put up toll booths at the "very" start of the rock gorge and one off from I-15 at the Littlefield exits manned by federal employees. Instead of charging tolls have inspections of vehichles including trucks to stop drug runners. Now we would be doing something, then do the same on I-70 east of Salina and west of Green River in the rocky gorge areas. Then state, county and local police departments could patrol the rural highways in their areas and stop this drug mess! Tech equipment could be justified also!

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    @Prodicus: By that logic why should Wyoming maintain I-80 between Cheyenne and Evanston? All that road does is connect to Utah and it is completely deserted for hundreds of miles at a time. The little towns that are on it are hardly worthy of being called towns... they're more like settlements in the wilderness.

    It's a federal road, it goes through your state, so you pay to maintain it. That's the way it works for everybody else.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 27, 2011 3:21 p.m.

    I think it makes sense that those who use the road should pay for it.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    A thousand years ago when I lived in Fredonia, everyone I knew wanted to secede from Arizona and be annexed by Utah. Arizona's government hated Utah then and apparently still does.

    I don't know if it is still the case -- and hope it's not -- but back then people who lived in Utah but worked in Arizona had to have both Utah and Arizona license plates on their cars and had to pay income tax in both states.

    Maybe we need to give Senators Hatch and Lee and Reps. Chaffetz and Bishop something to do besides pander to the Tea Party. Couldn't they initiate a bill in Congress to change a few boundary lines between states?

  • UtahResident Lehi, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    I think that they should take away some of Arizona's highway money and give it to Utah or Nevada and then let that state maintain it for Arizona. Then it is just a business deal where one state is contracting the maintenance to another, no land swap.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    People might not be happy about a toll, but demanding that Arizona bear all the burden of maintaining the very-difficult-to-maintain stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge is unreasonable. Arizona gets practically zero benefit from maintaining this route between Utah and Nevada; there's no Arizona community on I-15 and the only nearby community is just 1000 people, so few Arizona citizens regularly use the road and I-15 travelers don't spend any money in Arizona.

    Dutchman's idea of annexing the Virgin River Gorge to Utah or Nevada is reasonable (though it may not fly with politicians). Both of those states, unlike Arizona, have a strong interest in having this section of road maintained.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 1:57 p.m.

    You folks who know nothing about eastern toll roads need to do a little research. Many of these were built during the Eisenhower administration -- or were at least started then. If I remember right he was a Republican.

    At the time, this deal was touted -- by mostly Republicans -- as a way to avoid using some of the taxpayer money designated by Eisenhower and Congress at the time for roads that would help tie the new Interstate system to existing roads. It was an early attempt at a business/government partnership.

    And isn't that what some of our Republican friends are pushing for now? I think I've heard the word "privatize" bandied around frequently.

  • BoomerJeff Saint George, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Utah actually gave Arizona some of its freeway money back in the 60s to get this section built, Arizona gave the same argument back then. I agree with Dutchman to have that section annexed into the State of Utah and we'll take care of it. It makes more sense than to continually hear the same sob story from Arizona year after year. The have a port of entry there, shared with Utah, so they do collect money for that portion in addition to federal funds they receive. Just give it all to us and we'll maintain it.

  • dferg Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    "Documents released by ADOT indicate electronic tolling technologies could be used to exempt Arizona residents who live in proximity to I-15 from the tolls". Seriously?

    The *only* Arizona town in that tiny corner of the state within "proximity to I-15" is Littlefield; as of the 2000 census it had less than 1100 residents; hardly a going concern.

    Yet for all the people from the Mesquite general area that may travel to St. George, or the tourist traffic coming from Utah down to Mesquite, this proposed toll will be unfair and burdensome.

    A previous commenter was right: if Arizona has squandered their highway funds and ignored that stretch of I-15, the surrounding states should not have to bear responsibility for Arizona's spendthrift ways. Make the state pay for it.

  • cmccab01 Roy, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    @bobcractchet, then they've revamped the entire I-90 because i lived out there for many years, and even up until 2007 when i was out visiting my folks, it was an embarrassment. anyone without a top-quality suspension system or whose vehicle had higher-than-normal clearance was likely to require under-carriage repair of some kind. i lived out there from the mid-80s until the mid-90s. from 96 to 07, those roads were worked on very little. friends and family from buffalo to syracuse all complained about the ridiculous condition of the 90.

    i know of what i speak. the 90--just like most everything else in NYS--is designed to crush your wallet. state taxes are insane. property taxes can bankrupt you. and no--the cost of living out there is not higher. it's about the same as out here, minus the taxes.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    I-15 crosses a little tiny corner of northwest Arizona. The issue of building and maintaining this little stretch of I-15 has been a problem from the beginning. The governors of Utah and Nevada should call upon Congress to annex this area into either Utah or Nevada and be done with this problem for good. Utah and Nevada have an interest in keeping this freeway open and maintained. Give the land to one of them.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    Totally off base, one old man.

    Interstate highways are yet another expenditure explicitly allowed by the Constitution. Is it too much to ask the Federal Government to do what it was created to do, instead of doing everything it wasn't explicitly created not to?

  • jwd Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    It's amazing to note how bad the road quality on I-15 deteriorates the minute you cross into AZ from either UT or NV. What is the likelihood that ADOT will actually spend any collected toll money on actually repairing and upgrading I-15? I'd put it around 0. I agree with belgie. Otherwise, DeltaFoxtrot hit the nail on the head.

  • Bob Cratchet Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    @cmccab01 - I'm not sure what part of I-90 you are talking about. I drove along it multiple times this summer and found it very well maintained and divided with two lanes going each way. Last year driving out east I decided against another toll (I-80/90 are toll across most of the midwest) and took I-86 across S. New York instead of taking I-90, and I found that riddled with potholes.

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    re: one old man

    You mean back east where liberals run the States, cities, and most governments? Is that where you are referring to "many of those toll roads..."

    Pathetic..your arguments are full of holes..but we expect nothing less from the left. Logic has no place.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:26 p.m.

    But if the Teapublicans have their way, ALL our highways will be toll roads with profits going to the corporations to which the roads were sold in return for campaign funds.

    However, for a couple of posters above who may not have lived back east, many of those toll roads that are now designated as Interstate highways were actually built by private companies at the same time the Interstates were under construction. They were then designated as Interstates. There were probably a lot of political favors that helped enable that.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:23 p.m.

    I would get behind this proposal as long as we could then implement tolls to Arizona residents traveling on all freeways outside of Arizona.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    Well, what do you know! DeltaFoxtrot and I agree on something :)

  • cmccab01 Roy, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 12:00 p.m.

    @deltafoxtrot, tell that to the citizens of new york. practically the entire I-90 within NYS is toll, and i can tell you first-hand that they do NOT use the tolls to maintain that particular highway. it's littered with potholes, lots of two-lane traffic only ... it's ridiculously out-dated, but for as much traffic utilizes the I-90, precious few dollars get sunk back into that roadway.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Another government money grab. If they don't get it from you one way they'll get it from you another. The interstate highway system was federally developed and federally funded. It was designed to provide easy *free* travel between the states, not to be a revenue source.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    Herbert is trying to save his job......but can this outweigh the Illegal Alien sympathy he has supported in the pasty? Don't think so....