SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– After learning about the New York State Thruway Authority’s vote to move forward with proposed toll hikes, daily Thruway commuter Judy Farrelly wasn’t happy. 

Well, I’m opposed to it, everything’s going up but I thought this was a road that was supposed to be paid for years ago, so I’m still confused why we have to pay for it.

Judy Farrelly, daily thruway commuter

On the opposite side of the road is Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of Associated General Contractors of New York State who says this rate hike is necessary.

Well I don’t know anyone that gets excited about paying more for anything right, but in this case it is not only necessary but at the end of the day it is good for the traveling public.

Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of Associated General Contractors of New York State

Elmendorf says that’s because the revenue from this price hike will be used to fix existing infrastructure on the thruway, roads and bridges that he says are rapidly deteriorating. 

“And here’s the deal with the Thruway, it’s almost 70 years old and it was built to last about 50 years and a lot of it especially underneath the stuff you see on the surface is the concrete slabs, very few of their bridges have been rebuilt,” Elmendorf said.

“We were told it’s paying for the canals and they just keep rolling more into it to need the money more it just doesn’t make sense to me,” Farrelly said.

If approved, E-ZPass rates will be increased by five percent on January 1, 2024, then another five percent on January 1, 2027.

Multiple public hearings will be held to give the public a chance to weigh in before a final decision is made. 

A spokesperson for the NYS Thruway Authority says they have applied for grant money from the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill but have not received any federal money at this time.