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Dumfries Opposes I-95 Tolls

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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