Public cold to U.S. 460 toll talk in Virginia

| Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Virginia residents say they don’t want a public-private toll road leading in and out of the Hampton Roads ports. According to media reports, the sentiment during a recent public hearing was overwhelmingly negative about the proposed new U.S. Route 460 that would link Petersburg and Suffolk, VA.

Three companies – Multimodal Solutions LLC, 460 Partners Inc., and Cintra Infraestructuras of Spain are vying for the right to build, operate, maintain and collect tolls on the proposed 55-mile highway. Each company is seeking a long-term concession to collect tolls on the roadway for 75 to 99 years.

Proposed toll rates on Route 460 could prove to be pricey for truckers.

As Land Line reported online and in its December/January issue, one of the companies would charge truckers a flat rate of $75 for a full-length trip, while another would charge 14 to 18 cents per mile. The third company, Cintra, has not included truck tolls so far in its public materials.

Tolls for cars would range from $5 to $11 under the proposals. Would-be contractors are also asking for toll rates to be indexed to the rate of inflation.

Officials from each of the companies presented information during a public hearing Monday, Dec. 6, in Disputanta, VA. An independent panel appointed by the Virginia Department of Transportation will review the information and decide later who gets the contracts for the proposed $1.5 billion to $2 billion highway.

A second public meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m., Jan. 6, 2011, at Windsor High School, 24 Church St., Windsor, VA 23487.

The new Route 460 would run parallel to the existing highway. VDOT and the contractor will use the E-ZPass toll collection system on the roadway. Traditional toll booths may not exist on the new highway, but that decision will come later.

The roadway will take an estimated four years to complete, according to VDOT.

According to media reports, many residents at the first public hearing said they would prefer the existing Route 460 be widened instead of having a new superhighway built next to it with a proposed 75 mph speed limit.

The public has until Jan. 10, 2011 to make comments. Written comments about the proposal are being accepted at VDOT’s Innovative Project Delivery Division, 1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219. The agency is also accepting comments by e-mail at Route460PPTA@vdot.virginia.gov, and through the project website at http://www.route460ppta.org/.

See related article:
Truck tolls could be pricey on U.S. 460 in Virginia

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