422 toll plan may be a tall task

ROYERSFORD, Pa. - September 13, 2011

Roughly 200 people packed John Paul II High School Tuesday night and made their voices clear - no tolls on 422.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's plan includes four tolling stations from King of Prussia to Reading.

It would allow for upkeep and expansion of the road and help reduce gridlock.

Montgomery County Commissioner, Joe Hoeffel, supports the plan.

"If you want to do nothing and leave the road as it is, broken twice a day for a couple of hours, rush hour morning and night, I guess that's an option, it's not what I choose," Hoeffel said.

Hoeffel says PennDot and the state simply don't have the money. Revenue must be generated either through tolls or taxes like a gas tax.

"When you can get Jersey gas cheaper and they'll pump it for you, what are we doing with our money?" Chris Boyce of Gilbertsville said.

To implement the plan, state lawmakers would have to pass a bill to act.

Some supporters argue, if passed, a mandate should be included that 422 toll revenue stay local.

But State Representative Mike Vareb contends it's never going to happen.

"It's going to be a very cold day in Harrisburg if they try and run a bill that tolls 422. 422 is not going to be a guinea pig project in this commonwealth," Vareb said.

Vareb and other lawmakers at Tuesday night's forum believe the money to repair and upkeep Route 422 should come from the state's general fund.

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