Western MA tolls to be reinstated tomorrow - FOX Carolina 21

Western MA tolls to be reinstated tomorrow

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For the first time since 1996 drivers on the Mass Pike in Western Mass will begin paying tolls between exits 1 and 6 on Tuesday.

"I'm kind of a little bummed," said Westfield resident Lynn McGrady.

"I guess it's all right," said Westfield resident Aaron Durfey.

There are mixed opinions from drivers across the area about tolls being reinstated along the 48-mile stretch of land between West Stockbridge and Springfield.

"I take this route every single day and I'm going to have to take an alternative route because otherwise it is going to cost me another $10 a month," said McGrady.

"The roads are getting pretty bad out here at this end of the turnpike you know as far as potholes and stuff like that," said Durfey.

The tolls were abolished by Gov. William Weld almost two decades ago. Restoring them will raise around $12 in revenue for the state each year.

The money will go towards the $45 million worth of projects needed along that stretch of the turnpike.

State officials have stressed the importance of that road work during recent public hearings in the area.

The decision to restore the tolls was part of Gov. Deval Patrick's $500 million transportation package.

The fee to drive from exit 6 to 1 will be $1.75.

In the months leading up the restoration several events to get free EZ pass transponders were held in the region. Many people came out for those events that were meant to prepare the public for the upcoming change.

State officials are planning to remove all toll plazas from the pike and change to an all-electronic tolling system by 2017.

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