VA lawmaker pushes toll road plan

| Thursday, December 19, 2002

A Virginia legislator has urged the state's top transportation official to consider building a private toll road alongside I-64 to ease traffic congestion, according to local media reports.

Delegate Phillip Hamilton (R-Newport News) outlined his idea in an e-mail to state Secretary of Transportation Whittington Clement.

Under Hamilton's plan, a private company - rather than the state transportation department - reportedly would oversee construction and toll charges for the trip from Richmond to Newport News.

The new road would connect to I-664 in Newport News to encourage drivers heading south to use the less-traveled Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

Hamilton said the state could also ease traffic on I-64 by promoting U.S. 460 as an alternative, WRIC television reported. VDOT could also post signs on I-95 and I-295 near Richmond encouraging drivers to use U.S. 460 if they're headed to Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk or North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Hampton Roads' voters rejected a referendum in November on raising the sales tax by a penny to pay for road projects.

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