UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | July 24, 2024

Arizona Lawmakers Propose Toll on Arizona Gorge, Citizens Distressed

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A battle is taking place right in our own backyard, and from the reactions of citizens, it could be catastrophic to the southern Utah and Nevada economies.

“It’ll be horrible for the economy of Mesquite. A lot of people who come down here to dine or shop will probably not do that and its really hard in a small town like ours,” Lacy Lee, a Mesquite resident told SUN News, “We are doing what we can to see that it is stopped.”

Arizona lawmakers recently proposed to induce a toll on those who travel through the Virgin River Gorge, separating St. George from Mesquite along I-15. The toll would charge personal cars $1-3 dollars and commercial vehicles $6-10, taking a hit on those who are trying to make it through the west’s lifeline interstate.

Mesquite store supervisors are nervous about the toll, saying the fee would turn away customers who travel there every day to enjoy their food.

“We have people traveling from St. George on a daily basis for our services,” Gladys Soriano, the supervisor of a local restaurant in Mesquite said, “with about 10 to 15 percent of our customers coming from Utah, it would impact us a lot.”

Though a toll won’t be taking affect any time soon, lawmakers plan to vote on it within a few years.