Would you be willing to pay more for better highways across Louisiana? I know your first thought is " I am already paying taxes for highways, why would I need to pay more"? That's a valid question and one that lawmakers will be debating in the very near future.

Tuesday State Secretary of Transportation Shawn Wilson addressed the House Transportation Committee on the subject of adding tolls to some of Louisiana's busiest highways and bridges. The idea, supported by Governor Edwards, would give the state's highway department more funding to repair and maintain the entire roadway infrastructure across the state.

Governor Edwards and myself are very supportive of tolling as an option to fund transportation and to fund projects that are significant compared to perhaps just depending on federal dollars to make that happen.

The Louisiana Radio Network reported that during Wilson's address lawmakers he spoke in favor of a resolution that would authorize a feasibility study to see if and where tolling certain roadways and bridges might be beneficial to the state.

In order for tolling to work, you have to have traffic, and it’s not applicable everywhere. Just because it’s a road does not mean it needs to be tolled, and we do have some very valid and viable locations for tolling.

The backlog for bridge funding and road repair funding across the state is a reported $13 billion. I am pretty sure the state's  pockets are no where near that deep. So perhaps the tolling of some roads and bridges might be the shot in the arm to get some of these projects funded and completed.

Lawmakers are considering the idea, what are your thoughts? Would you be willing to pay and extra .50 cents or a few bucks everyday if it meant smoother, safer, better maintained roads and bridges?

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