End of All Tolls in Merrimack: Local Legislators Celebrate
MERRIMACK – At 9pm on December 31, 2021, a group of local elected legislators assembled at the Exit 10 northbound toll booth in Merrimack. The reason for the New Year’s Eve gathering at that location was to witness the end of toll collection in Merrimack. The event was recorded when former Rep. Bob L’Heureux became the last person in history to pay a Merrimack toll, followed by former Rep. Chris Christensen who was the first to go through the Merrimack Exit 10 without paying.
The elimination of the Exit 10 tolls comes from HB 2 (2021), the Republican-led budget signed into law by Governor Sununu in 2021. Sections 91:389-91:390 in HB 2 terminated the last remaining tolls in Merrimack at Exit 10. As a result of HB 2, no tolls will be collected anywhere in Merrimack starting on January 1, 2022. The physical toll booth collection plazas on Exit 10 should be removed by the end of 2022.
“At long last, Merrimack is free of all tolls. This night comes after decades of perseverance from current and previous legislators to end the town’s unfair enclosure by tolls. We have so many people to thank, but most recently are those of us who supported HB 2 this year. To witness this night is truly historic for Merrimack and a new era for its residents.” – Rep. Maureen Mooney (R-Merrimack).
“To be clear, a toll is a tax to use a road. For far too long the residents of Merrimack have inequitably been taxed to access the major highway that goes through their town. With the elimination of the Exit 10 tolls, this 7-year effort to eliminate the three Merrimack tolls on the F.E. Everett Turnpike will finally come to fruition and it’s satisfying to know that I could assist in bringing this tax freedom to Merrimack.” – Senator Gary Daniels (R-Milford).
“Several of the Merrimack Reps have put in bills over the years to remove the tolls. It was the late Speaker, Dick Hinch, who ultimately prevailed in getting Exit 11 removed. The Governor can attest to this statement. I wish that Speaker Hinch were here with us today to see the final toll removed from Merrimack. May his memory be eternal.” – Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack).
“Merrimack has been one of the only towns in NH to be burdened by the tolls to enter and exit the Everett Turnpike. This tolling has continued for over 20 years, exceeding the time to pay off the bond which was used to pay for the tolls to originally be built. The time has come to finally rid the town of Merrimack from all tolls by removing the tolls at exit 10. Going forward, Merrimack will no longer bear the additional financial burden to drive on a turnpike that cuts right through our town. Thank you to Gary Daniels for entering this bill, the many former and current Merrimack Reps for supporting this over the years, and especially to the late Speaker Dick Hinch and the Merrimack Town Council who started the conversation to get these unfair tolls removed once and for all.” – Rep. Bob Healey (R-Merrimack).
“The last domino has fallen here in Merrimack. Years of being a donor town for toll road subsidies statewide has finally come to a successful end. No more toll booths in Merrimack. Needless to say, I share the happiness with my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues here in town who have long fought this battle to end the Town’s unfair toll burden. The moment is certainly not lost on all of us, and I want to thank everyone involved for bringing an end to Merrimack’s tolls especially Speaker Hinch and Gov. Chris Sununu.” – Rep. Bill Boyd (R-Merrimack).
“As your Freshman State Representative, and 25-year Merrimack victim of the Toll booth ‘taxation-without-representation’ debacle, I am elated to deliver the historic passage of HB2 and end the Merrimack toll booths once and for all.” – Rep. Mary Mayville (R-Merrimack).
“For countless years, the citizens of Merrimack have lived with an unfair burden of being trapped by multiple tolls. The elimination of this tollbooth is the culmination of efforts resulting in the passage of HB2 and I’m happy to see relief has arrived to Merrimack.” – Rep. Melissa Blasek (R-Merrimack).
“Merrimack has been saddled long enough with this burden, it’s about time they got rid of them, GOOD RIDDANCE.” – former State Rep. Bob L’Heureux (R-Merrimack).