Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
April 18, 2012
COMMONWEALTH TRANSPORTATION BOARD ALLOCATES FUNDING FOR TOLL DELAY ON MIDTOWN TUNNEL PROJECT IN HAMPTON ROADS REGION
RICHMOND – The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has allocated approximately $100 million in transportation funds to cover the costs of delaying tolls until January 2014 on the Midtown Tunnel construction project.
Gov. Bob McDonnell requested this week that the CTB allocate the funding after financial close was reached between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) on a $2.1 billion project to build a new Midtown Tunnel, extend the Martin Luther King Boulevard and rehabilitate the existing Midtown and Downtown tunnels. Toll collection to finance the project is scheduled to begin in late summer.
Funding for the toll delay comes from funds set aside for the state’s contribution paid at financial close that were not needed due to current low interest rates. VDOT had originally planned to contribute $395 million to lower tolls, but paid out $308 million at financial close. This resulted in a savings of nearly $87 million, which is allocated to delay toll collection. The remaining $13 million will come from resources dedicated to the Midtown Tunnel project.
VDOT’s contribution will reduce tolls to the base level of $1.59, nearly 40 percent lower than the rate originally proposed. VDOT also implemented another toll relief measure. Vehicles entering or exiting the new MLK Extension from the High Street or London Boulevard ramps and taking a local trip in Portsmouth will not be required to pay tolls.
Under the Public Private Partnership Act (PPTA), ERC will finance, build, operate and maintain the facilities for a 58-year concession period. VDOT will continue to own the infrastructure and oversee ERC’s activities.
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