Virginia Scales Back I-95 Toll Plans
September 07, 2012
The Virginia Department of Transportation has reduced the number of toll points requested in its application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to toll I-95. Originally, the application named two separate toll locations along I-95, but the VDOT decreased the scope of the tolling project to simply one.
The one tolling point still being requested is located approximately 22 miles north of the North Carolina border, according to an article by TollRoads News.
The article goes on to indicate that the remaining toll is located in an area of mostly light traffic, and will only result in early gross toll revenues of $40 million per year. Eventually, the projections indicate that the toll would gross in the $65 million to $70 million range in the approximately 20 years.
The application to create new toll points on an existing road was made possible through conditional approval from the Federal Highway Administration under its Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program.
This program allows states to three current Interstate facilities to be tolled in an effort to fund needed reconstruction or rehabilitation projects that would not be possible without the potential funds gained from tolls.
TollRoad News reports that the limited funding raised by this single toll would only raise approximately 18% of the $857 million slated to be spent on upgrades and maintainence of I-95 during 2015-2020. The remaining funds would have to be raised by taxes or debt-based grants from the federal or state government.
However, the tolls have faced a great deal of opposition, especially from the trucking industry.
Mayor Frank Jackson of Stony Creek, Va., took his issues with the proposed tolls on the road--literally.
An experienced trucker of 33 years, Jackson drove a tractor-trailer with the slogan "Keep I-95 Toll Free" emblazoned on the trailer to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to garner attention for the issue.
In a television interview with CBS affiliate WTVR in Virginia, Jackson said he believes the toll would negatively impact the economic future of his town, Stony Brook.
He and other like-minded dissenters have begun an online petition
in an effort to keep tolls off I-95.
Related stories:8/29/2012 Groups Speak Out Against I-95 Tolls in Virginia 7/25/2012 - Truck Groups Campaign Against I-95 Toll Proposal