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Dumfries Opposes I-95 Tolls

By Potomac Local News July 11, 2012 7:54 am

2 Comments

Commuters use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

Commuters use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95 in Woodbridge. (Uriah Kiser/PotomacLocal.com)

DUMFRIES, Va. – Elected officials in Dumfries had no argument when it comes to opposing tolling on the travel lanes of Interstate 95.

The Town Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to pass a resolution opposing plans to toll the major east coast thoroughfare which runs through the town. The road is also a sticking point for residents who don’t like the noise the highway generates.

The federal government last year gave preliminary approval to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell’s plan to toll the highway. Those tolls would raise an estimated $250 million and fund highway improvement and expansion projects like widening I-95 between Richmond and North Carolina, improve road pavement and guardrail improvements statewide, and pay for intelligent transportation systems that would alert drivers to low bridges.

Toll booths could pop up in the Fredericksburg area and at the North Carolina / Virginia border.

“The entire I-95 corridor averages a level of service of ‘D’ and some more urban portions are ‘F’ during peak periods,” said Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton in a press release last year. “This level of service is unacceptable anywhere, let alone on the most traveled corridor in Virginia. The ability to implement tolling will provide the revenues necessary to improve I-95.”

Dumfries officials held no discussion on the matter prior to voting. Town Manager Daniel Taber said Hanover County near Richmond urged all localities along the highway to pass resolutions opposing tolling.

These tolls would be separate from the I-95 Express Lanes project, which will convert existing High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-95, from Dumfries to Edsall Road in Alexandria, to toll lanes. The project will also extend those lanes from Dumfries nine miles south to Va. 610 in North Stafford.

On a related note, Virginia is no longer the top state in the county for business because of highway congestion.

 

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  • Dan

    How are those HOT lanes working on 495? Being that I travel EVERY day up 95 and 495, and sit and watch as the HOTs are consistently empty, this is a terrible idea. It not only causes commuters to pay more to companies like EZ Pass, because you need a “special” transponder, it will simply discourage mass transit because people just won’t pick others up if they have to pay “fees” either way. About the only good thing, is I don’t have to look at the select few snoops with their “clean special fuel” tags ride alone. How about we retrack that policy to promote more use of the HOV lanes, there is nothing special about a hybrid anymore. Expanding the metro to Horner and Potomac Mills every cross anyones mind either?