Merrimack Town Councilors Vote In Favor Of Suing State Over Toll Booths

Nov 11, 2013

This toll booth catches drivers as they get on the F.E. Everett Turnpike heading south from Merrimack. There are similar toll booths at the other two exit ramps in town.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Town councilors in Merrimack have voted in favor of pursuing a lawsuit against the state in an attempt to get relief from toll booths.

The town has had toll booths at all three points of access along the F.E. Everett Turnpike for nearly 25 years.

State transportation officials say the toll booths were installed as part of a deal with the town.

The revenue was intended to help pay off the bond used to build the exits, which in turn give the town access to the highway.

But town councilor Dan Dwyer says the feeling among residents is enough is enough.

“For years we’ve just been trying to unlock ourselves from this burden that for some reason, the New Hampshire DOT and the state Legislature refuses to offer any relief or any help.”

The town council voted 5-1 last week to give the town manager the authority to explore taking legal action against the state.

A House committee last month voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have removed the toll booths at Exit 12.

State transportation officials oppose efforts to remove the toll booths and say the bond won’t be paid off for at least another decade.