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ODOT’s considers tolls for 2 Portland-area freeways


(Update: Two stretches of freeways included in proposal)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon transportation officials have unveiled a proposal to eventually toll two stretches along Portland-area freeways.

OPB reports that the proposal released Thursday calls for tolls along 7 miles of Interstate 5 through the heart of Portland, as well as a stretch of Interstate 205 around the Abernethy Bridge in the Oregon City area.

Oregon Transportation Commission Chair Tammy Baney said it will be several years before tolls could be implemented. The transportation commission is expected next week to approve an application to the Federal Highway Administration for the two tolling projects. There would have to be an extended environmental review before any federal approval.

Officials say the tolls would help pay for widening projects along the two freeways. And they hope tolling would help reduce congestion by encouraging travelers to seek alternatives.

ODOT officials say it’s too early to say how much the tolls will cost. It could take at least five years before a plan is implemented.

Alando Simpson of the Oregon Transportation Commission says officials are examining how they can direct people into other modes of transportation so the current heavy dependence on the highway system can be reduced.

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