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After last-ditch effort to fund I-81 improvements this year fails, more study, another report, and lots of divergent opinions await

State Sen. Mark Obenshain went out on a limb with a bill to begin tolling on I-81 to pay for $2.2 billion in much-needed improvements to the interstate . Things didn’t work like he’d hoped, however.

“I’m deeply disappointed,” Obenshain said. “We had a commitment to a process last year, and, frankly, I did a pretty uncomfortable thing of taking the result of that process and carrying that legislation.”

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On I-81 improvements, legislators detour around tax-or-toll decision and opt for more time

Committees in both chambers of the General Assembly on Thursday approved revised versions of bills by Valley legislators that outline $2.2 billion in needed improvements to I-81 but now no longer explain how to pay for them. The new legislation, which Sen. Mark Obenshain called a “pale shadow of its former self,” was meant to keep I-81 in the foreground of public discussions amid continued disagreement over funding methods.