BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Three local lawmakers are trying to set up a roadblock against thruway toll hikes.
The Thruway Authority wants to raise tolls on commercial trucks by 45 percent. But Wednesday, State Senators Patrick Gallivan and Mark Grisanti along with State Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak met Canalside to announced a new plan that would stop the toll hike in its tracks by separating the canal system from the Thruway Authority.
Sen. Gallivan explained, "In 1992, the canal system was moved under the control of the Thruway Authority with the stated intentions it do two things: first that it did not detract from the Thruway Authority's core mission of providing and maintaining a world class state highway, and that it encourage the maintenance development and promotion of the canal system. Both have failed."
The lawmakers' plan would move the canal system back under the control of the State DOT. The lawmakers argue the move would save the Thruway Authority nearly $107 million, preventing the need for a toll hike.
The Thruway Authority says the increase is needed to bridge a $90 million gap, but opponents say the cost would get passed on to consumers.
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