Initial tolls on the Midtown/Downtown tunnels in Hampton Roads, Va. will be half the level originally expected, with tolling beginning Feb. 1.

Toll are planned to pay for the construction of the $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels project, that includes building a new Midtown Tunnel tube, rehabilitating the existing Midtown and Downtown tunnels.

Tolls for tractor-trailers will be reduced with an off-peak rate of $2.25 beginning Feb. 1 and a peak-hour rate of $4 for those using E-ZPass, but will be higher for those who “pay by plate.” Orginally, truckers were looking at a peak hour round trip rate of $16.

During the same time the off-peak rate for passenger vehicles will be 75 cents, down from $1.59, and the peak-hour toll rate will be $1, down from $1.84.

A complete toll schedule is online

“Lowering tolls on the Midtown/Downtown tunnels project is a significant priority of my administration and I pledged to act on it right away,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “I immediately directed Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne to take the lead on reducing the tolls so they would lessen the financial burden on commuters and businesses who use the tunnels every day. Today, we have a plan in place to bring relief once tolling begins next month.

McAuliffe calls the construction of a third tunnel “a critical project that must be built to reduce congestion, improve safety and propel economic opportunities for the region.”