Norfolk-Portsmouth Tunnel Tolls Hurt Commuters’ Pocketbooks
As plans for tunnel improvements linking Norfolk to Portsmouth, VA advance, the backlash is gathering pace.
Details of a deal to build an improved Midtown Tunnel were finalized early in December, 2011. But the prospect of road tolls as early as 2012 has alarmed political leaders in Portsmouth, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
“Tolls initially would be $1.59 for off-peak hours and $1.84 during peak hours for cars, and $4.77 for off-peak hours and $7.36 during peak hours for trucks using the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. Tolls on an extension of the Martin Luther King Freeway to Interstate 264 would be $1, or 50 cents for cars that used either of the tunnels,” the Pilot reported.
The tolls would help fund a $2.1 billion project that would include a second Midtown tube, along with major improvements to the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, and the extension of the Martin Luther King Freeway.
Although the improvements are likely to alleviate congestion and improve safety, a recent study found a majority of Virginians opposed the I-95 tolling plan. The strength of feeling in Hampton Roads may be even more marked.
These additional charges will affect people on a daily basis, people such as Nicole, a legal assistant at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, who will have to pay to drive into work every day.
See this video footage of the Downtown Tunnel.
As experienced Norfolk, VA car accident injury attorneys, we report on numerous accidents that occur in both the Midtown and Downtown Tunnels. For instance, On August 18, 2011, a motorcyclist was killed at the Portsmouth, VA entrance of the Downtown Tunnel.
The motorcyclist sped up and hit a wall, on this occasion. Motorcyclists are vulnerable on our roads and nowhere more so than in tunnels.
Although congestion is a major problem on the highways of Hampton Roads, as well as a cause of accidents in stop and go conditions, we are wary of moves to make drivers pay more.