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After 3 years of protest, Sonoran toll booths turned over to federal authorities

After several years of protest, toll booths along Sonora’s most important interstate are now back in federal control.

Since 2018, many of those toll booths have been taken over by protesters who object to the high costs they impose on local motorists. That protest has spelled millions of dollars in lost revenue every month for the federal government.

But on Sunday, three of them were turned over to federal authorities, which came on the heels of another handover in Magdalena, according to a federal officialand media reports.

An August deal to end the takeovers collapseddue in part to distrust from participants, who doubted that assurances to waive fees for residents and shut down the Hermosillo facility would become reality.

For Arizona visitors who may have grown accustomed to not paying the tolls, the change means having a few hundred pesoshandy for trips to Sonora may be advisable.

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.