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Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 09/20/2011

The I-95 tolls calculus

Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s office has issued a press release touting the Federal Highway Administration’s approval of a study to determine whether the state can erect tolls on Interstate 95 at the North Carolina/Virginia border. But there’s still a very long way to go before that first toll booth gets built:

By granting VDOT conditional provisional approval, USDOT is reserving a slot in the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program. This reservation will allow VDOT to undertake necessary studies. The Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program is a federal demonstration program that provides authority for only three states to toll Interstate facilities. Once the statutory provisions of the program are satisfied, the opportunity for tolling will be available.
“VDOT will work closely with FHWA to complete the steps outline by Administrator Mendez, as well as any necessary environmental documents,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “Our goal is to complete these steps as quickly as possible so we can develop and implement a satisfactory toll agreement with the FHWA.”

In other words, it’s highly likely Gov. McDonnell will be long out of office before beach-goers, snowbirds and the occasional Canadian have the chance (and reason) to take his name in vain as they scrounge for the quarters the state will demand before allowing them entry to Virginia.

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Norman Leahy  |  01:30 PM ET, 09/20/2011

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