Private companies set to bid on U.S. 460 toll road in Virginia

| 7/29/2011

The Virginia Department of Transportation has tapped three private investor groups to submit detailed plans to design and build a 55-mile toll road leading in and out of the Hampton Roads port system. Early indications are that truck tolls could run up to $75 for a full-length trip on U.S. 460 once it is completed in about four years.

Three companies are in the running to get the contract: Multimodal Solutions, 460 Partners and Spanish toll operator Cintra. VDOT invited those companies to submit their formal proposals on Thursday, July 28.

The companies submitted preliminary proposals in late 2010, indicating that car tolls would likely run between $5 and $11 for a full-length trip from Richmond/Petersburg to Suffolk. Truck rates ranged from 14 cents to 18 cents a mile, with one company suggesting a flat rate of $75 for the trip.

Virginia residents demonstrated their disdain for the toll-road plan during public meetings held in January. According to media reports at the time, the public favored widening of the current U.S. 460 over the plan to build a 75-mph superhighway next to it.

VDOT says the new road will lead to more economic development along the route at seven proposed interchanges.

According to VDOT, the roadway will be paid for through public subsidy, private investment, user fees and “other innovative financing methods.”

The private companies have until the first quarter of 2012 to submit their detailed plans. The eventual winner will be part of a long-term concession lasting 50, 75, or 99 years in which toll proceeds would reimburse the company for construction and operational costs. All three of the companies expressed interest in a toll rate that is indexed to the rate of inflation.

See related stories:
Public cold to U.S. 460 toll talk in Virginia
Truck tolls could be pricey on U.S. 460 in Virginia