Local government officials from along the I-95 corridor in Virginia met Wednesday, Aug. 15 in Petersburg to discuss how they will work together to oppose the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) proposal to toll I-95. For many of these local leaders it was their second face-to-face meeting to coordinate efforts to keep tolls off of I-95. Wednesday’s meeting included representatives from Dinwiddie County, Greensville County, Sussex County, Town of Stony Creek, Town of Jarrett and City of Emporia, City of Hopewell, and City of Petersburg. To date, fifteen localities have passed resolutions in opposition to the Governor’s toll plan and join a growing number of businesses, economic development partnerships, associations and thousands of individual citizens that have voiced their opposition to tolling I-95.
The localities that have passed resolutions in opposition to tolling I-95 include the counties of Dinwiddie, Greensville, Hanover and Sussex; the towns of Ashland, Dumfries, Jarratt, Stony Creek and Wakefield; and the cities of Emporia and Petersburg. The following localities joined last week the growing list of localities in opposition to tolls on I-95; Prince George County, Spotsylvania County, City of Hopewell and the Town of Waverly.
Representatives from the local governments participating in the meeting cited the following reasons for their opposition:
- Tolls would cause major diversion of traffic onto local roads.
- Tolls would negatively impact economic development, cost jobs and hurt existing businesses along the I-95 corridor.
- Toll collection would waste millions of taxpayer dollars in constructing and operating the toll plazas.
- The proposed toll locations place an unfair burden on families in Sussex County and neighboring counties.
- There are too many unanswered questions regarding the environmental impact of the toll plazas and the vehicle emissions that would increase along secondary routes.