|For Immediate Release
May 27, 2010
Public Information Office
|Open Road Tolling At Hampton Tolls For Memorial Day Weekend
First Highway Speed Electronic Tolling Facility In New England
New England's first highway speed electronic tolling facility is set to debut in New Hampshire on Memorial Day weekend on Interstate 95 (Blue Star Turnpike) at the Hampton Tolls. Just 11 months after construction work began on the $18.3 million project, Open Road Tolling (ORT) is expected to initially be available to motorists using E-ZPass on I-95 during the holiday weekend to handle the anticipated heavy traffic volumes, then permanently available by June 15.
"This is a historic milestone for toll collection in New Hampshire and the northeast," says NH Department of Transportation Commissioner George Campbell. "For the first time in 60 years, our electronic tolling customers will be able to travel through the Hampton Tolls at highway speeds. The five mile backups at certain times of the year at Hampton will be a thing of the past."
The Open Road Tolling project converted six plaza lanes to four ORT lanes (two in each direction) while also adding one additional tollbooth in each direction. ORT lanes can process nearly five times as many vehicles as a conventional cash toll lane and 60 percent more traffic than a dedicated E-ZPass lane where motorists must slow down to pass through. In addition to the ORT lanes, there will be a total of 12 toll lanes in use for both cash paying and E-ZPass customers.
In addition to reduced lines and improved service for E-ZPass customers, the ORT lanes at the Hampton Tolls are expected to improve air quality by reducing emissions caused by idling, and reduce diversion to alternate routes by improving traffic flow.
Those utilizing the Open Road Tolling lanes are reminded that there is no stopping once vehicles have entered the ORT zone. Following the Memorial Day Weekend, the ORT lanes will be closed on June 1 for approximately two weeks while final work is completed on the project.