Could adding tolls to the roads help ease traffic?
For six months, the state has been studying congestion along the Interstate 95 corridor in Southwestern Connecticut and the Interstate 84 corridor in Hartford and part of that study includes looking into the impact tolls would have.
The 18-month-long study looks at "congestion pricing" on I-95 and the I-84 corridor, specifically in the viaduct area of downtown Hartford, which is ending its useful life.
The study focused in part on whether tolls could ease congestion by allowing drivers to pay to use High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes to bypass traffic.
According to a July 2004 study on the I-95 Corridor from Branford to Rhode Island, they are called High-Occupancy Toll lanes, or HOT lanes, and allow drivers with less than the required minimum high occupancy vehicle occupancy to use established HOV lanes for a toll.
The study will also look at whether tolls could help fund the eventual replacement of Hartford viaduct, which is expected to carry a cost in the billions of dollars.
There is some opposition to the plan.
"Here you've got existing infrastructure that is free and underutilized," Eric Brown, associate counsel with the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, told the Hartford Business Journaltold HBJ. "If it is free now, how will charging people increase usage?"