Plan to lower tolls announced

Published 10:35 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday his administration will use $82.5 million in financing and other unassigned transportation dollars to lower tolls at the Midtown and Downtown tunnels at least until 2017.

The tolls, which begin Feb. 1, now will be 75 cents for and $1 for passenger vehicles during off-peak and peak hours, respectively. That rate is effective through the end of the year.

“Lowering tolls on the Midtown/Downtown tunnels project is a significant priority of my administration and I pledged to act on it right away,” Gov. McAuliffe said in a press release. “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.”

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The tolls will rise on the following schedule, according to the press release:

  • In 2015, the off-peak toll rate will go up to $1, and the peak-hour rate will be $1.25.
  • In 2016, the off-peak toll rate will be $1.25, and the peak-hour rate will be $1.50.
  • In 2017 or upon substantial completion of the new Midtown Tunnel, the rates will be in accordance with the comprehensive agreement between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Elizabeth River Crossings.

Tolls for tractor-trailers also will be reduced, starting with $2.25 for off peak hours and $4 for peak.

“Reducing tolls is a critically important issue for the residents of Hampton Roads and has been my key priority,” Transportation Secretary and Chairman of the CTB Aubrey Layne said. “We’ve taken a hard look at all options and I am pleased that we have come up with a toll revision plan that the Commonwealth can afford, and that makes sense for Hampton Roads during the construction of this project.”