RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced bipartisan support Tuesday for a plan to add tolls to Interstate 81.
The tolls would fund $2.2 billion in critical improvements to the interstate.
The legislation is a result of a year-long study completed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board at the direction of the General Assembly, according to Northam.
“Interstate 81 is the economic engine of western Virginia, and it’s time we take decisive action to enhance the safety and improve the reliability of this key corridor,” said Northam. “I am committed to working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to establish a dedicated funding source that will support the critical improvements that Interstate 81 needs to move goods and people around the Commonwealth.”
The proposed legislation would establish limits on toll rates and give cars and small trucks the ability to buy an annual pass allowing unlimited use of I-81 for a fixed yearly fee.
10 News has previously reported that the annual pass is expected to cost $20-$30.
Northam said that revenues collected would only be used for improvements included in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan that was adopted by the Board at its December meeting.
“The residents along the 81 Corridor have called for a safer, more dependable interstate,” said Delegate Chris Hurst. “The time to make these important improvements is now.”
The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program legislation will be supported by Sens. Mark Obenshain and Bill Carrico in the Senate, and by Delegates Steve Landes and Terry Austin in the House.
The Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be found at www.va81corridor.org.