In Virginia, truckers take stand against I-81 toll road proposal

| 5/1/2002

Trucking executives April 29 told state regulators that a proposed toll on trucks to pay for widening Interstate 81 would eliminate jobs, delay plant expansions, and in some cases, put them out of business, AP reported. Truckers, motor carriers and shippers and others spoke out against the proposed toll.

Star Solutions, which is led by Halliburton KBR and Koch Performance Roads, submitted the toll proposal under Virginia's Public-Private Transportation Act, which allows private industry to propose solutions for the state's transportation needs.

About 90 people reportedly stood up when asked how many oppose the plan, which is to widen I-81 to eight lanes and place a toll on trucks to cover half the $8 billion to $13 billion cost.

Representatives of Star Solutions and three members of the General Assembly listened but offered no comments at the meeting, which addressed concerns of business people in the Augusta County region. Philip Shucet, Virginia's new transportation commissioner, was among those listening.
-- Dick Larsen, senior editor