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Turnpike Tolls In Western Massachusetts To Return Oct. 15

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The free ride on the far western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike will come to an end in mid-October  according to a plan announced Monday by state transportation officials.

Tolls will be reinstated on the Mass Pike between interchange one in West Stockbridge and interchange six in Springfield on October 15th  according to a timetable released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  A public hearing will be held in Lee on September 10th and one in Springfield on September 12.  Officials say the tolls will be the same as what was in effect in 1996 when the tolls were removed.   Reinstating the tolls was part of the $500 million transportation finance package approved last month by the Massachusetts legislature.  Revenue from the new tolls is estimated to be $12 million a year.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.