Virginia town plans to pursue traffic flow study; tolls possible

| 10/8/2007

Officials in one Virginia town are expected to call on state lawmakers to pay for a regional transportation study to help with congestion.

The city of Hampton is calling for a study intended to illustrate traffic flow based on scenarios that include tunnel tolls.

City officials say the biggest traffic headache in the city is the result of backups on Interstate 64 before car and truck drivers get to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Improvements to the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel won’t help, they say.

The blame for the traffic problems is placed on the way the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is structured, the Daily Press in Newport News, VA, reported. The number of vehicles using it and the instincts of drivers to slow down and stop as they approach the tunnel also are blamed.

Officials in Hampton say that improvements to the Monitor-Merrimac will help the flow of truck traffic from the ports. Traffic delays at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, however, won’t be affected.

They also talked about the need for traffic models at a meeting to consider legislative priorities for the regular session that begins in January 2008, the Daily Press reported. Their intention is to show what will happen if tolls are added to only one bridge-tunnel. New tubes at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel also will be sought.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Virginia in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor