All News & Blogs
Toll application for I-95 pinpoints location and says revenues will help numerous interstate projects, including two in the Fredericksburg region
Date published: 9/8/2012
The recent toll application for Interstate 95 pinpoints Sussex County as the area where state officials want to start charging drivers.
Officials also say revenues from the tolls will help lead to more road work in the state, including big projects in the Fredericksburg area.
In its application, the Virginia Department of Transportation calls tolling a "new funding source for I-95" and tells the Federal Highway Administration that the area for the toll is between exits 20 and 24 in Sussex, which is not far from the North Carolina line.
The application also points out that initial toll revenues should allow the state to do more work on the interstate, primarily in the Fredericksburg and Richmond areas.
Opposition has arisen from the trucking industry and localities along I-95. The plan to add tolls to the interstate isn't popular among drivers either, according to polls.
Cord Sterling said he can't understand how anyone would be against a plan that will help pay for improvements on I-95, especially in the Fredericksburg region, which he said at times becomes a "parking lot."
Sterling, a Stafford County supervisor and a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, said the toll plan is better than raising the gas tax because it will put more of the burden on those who use the interstate and less on Virginians.
"I don't think that's unreasonable," he said Friday, pointing out that he believes the trucking industry is the driving force behind the opposition to the tolls.
More than a dozen localities--from Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia and including Spotsylvania County's Board of Supervisors--recently have voted against the toll plan.
Last month, Spotsylvania joined 14 other localities in opposing the toll plan, which would charge drivers of cars $4 and tractor-trailers $12. According to news reports, Emporia officials have led the cry against tolls in its area, saying it would be unfair to a community already struggling financially.
The officials against the VDOT plan also have said tolls would lead to congestion on local roads with drivers avoiding them and wasting taxpayer money during construction and operation of the tolls. They also have noted that the environmental impacts are unknown.