Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) sent a letter today to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a separate letter to Victor Mendez of the Federal Highway Administration, (FHA) expressing strong opposition to the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Interstate 95 (I-95) Corridor Improvement Program, which includes the installation of tolling stations in Southside Virginia.
"Adding tolling stations will disproportionately burden the citizens of region unable to shoulder additional economic challenges," wrote Congressman Forbes. "Many of the communities surrounded by the proposed placement of the toll facility are already identified by the Commonwealth of Virginia as "economically stressed.' Adding costly new tolls will exacerbate this situation by discouraging economic growth, increasing costs for more businesses, and making everyday travel more expensive for families."
Initial estimates indicate that VDOT's proposal will cost $4 for cars and $12 for large trucks each time a vehicle passes through a gantry. This translates into a new cost of $8 for a family driving roundtrip from Emporia to Richmond.
To date, the local governments of the City of Emporia, Greensville County and Sussex County have each adopted resolutions in opposition to VDOT's proposed toll plan for I-95. The payment of tolls would place an undue financial burden to low to moderate income families.
Congressman Forbes has opposed the addition of costly tolls to the I-95 corridor south of Richmond since 2010, when he expressed his opposition to the proposal in a letter to Governor McDonnell and a letter to Mr. Mendez of the FHA.