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VDOT offering details on tolls

November 26, 2012 12:10 am



The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced three public meetings next month for updates on proposed tolls on Interstate 95.

One will be held in the Fredericksburg area on Dec. 17, at the VDOT office on Deacon Road in Stafford County. The meeting will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

Those who attend the meetings will get updated details of the plan and can ask questions about the project.

In its application for the federal pilot project, which includes two other states, VDOT calls tolling a "new funding source for I-95."

The area for the planned toll is between exits 20 and 24 in Sussex County, which is just north of the North Carolina line.

The latest plan calls for drivers of cars to pay $4 and tractor-trailers $12 at the toll plaza.

There could eventually be more than one toll area as part of the plan.

There are also proposals to extend the new I-95 express lanes that will end at Garrisonville. Those electronically tolled lanes likely will be extended to Massaponax in Spotsylvania County.

VDOT has said that Virginia's interstate system is in grave need of an upgrade and there is a funding gap of $10 billion over the next 25 years.

And tolls, they say, are one way to help fill that funding gap.

But opposition has arisen from the trucking industry and some localities along I-95.

More than a dozen localities--from Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia and including Spotsylvania County's Board of Supervisors--have voted against the toll plan.

Adding tolls to the interstate isn't popular among drivers either, according to opinion surveys.

Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration has backed the tolls plan.

Last week, he also noted his openness to indexing the state gas tax to inflation, which raises the possibility that motorists would pay tolls and higher gas taxes.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

The Virginia Department of Transportation has scheduled information meetings:

Monday, Dec. 10: Sussex Central High School in Sussex County.

Wednesday, Dec. 12: John Tyler Community College in Chester.

Monday, Dec. 17: VDOT offices, Deacon Road in Stafford County.

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