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Turnpike Tolls Return Tuesday In Western Massachusetts

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Columbus Day weekend will mark the end of a 17 year toll-free ride on the western section of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Tolls will be restored on Tuesday between Exit 1 in West Stockbridge and Exit 6 in Springfield. The legislature mandated the reinstatement of the tolls as part of a $500 million transportation finance bill approved in July.  Drivers will pay the same tolls that were in effect in 1996 when former Republican Governor William Weld had the tolls removed.  Massachusetts Highway Administrator Frank DePaola said the tolls will bring in about $12 million a year that will put toward maintenance and repairs.

In the run up to the return of the tolls, hundreds of motorists have signed up for the E-Z Pass program to pay the tolls electronically.

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.