TOLLING: FHWA postpones approval of controversial I-95 tolling proposal

Municipal, county entities call project “detrimental” to region’s economy

December 10, 2012

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has indefinitely postponed a ruling on an interstate tolling project on I-95 in Virginia, requesting that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) seek out further public input. At the same time, at least eight cities and towns are taking legal action against the project.

Conditional, provisional approval for the project, which would erect a tolling facility in Sussex County near the North Carolina border, was granted by the FHWA in September 2011. At that time, the federal agency stated that final approval would not be granted until VDOT completed a series of environmental studies.

VDOT submitted the requested environmental and economic studies and asked for a final ruling in September 2012, which generated the most recent FHWA response.

Several municipal and county bodies, however, have voiced strong opposition to the project, calling it economically “detrimental” to the region. As a result, the city of Petersburg, Prince George County and Dinwiddie County, among other entities, have pooled funds to hire an attorney.

Toll rates at the new facility would be $4 for passenger vehicles and $12 for tractor-trailers. The majority of the tolling revenue would go toward repaving 76 lane-miles of I-95.