Toll relief program to ease burden on Norfolk, Portsmouth residents

Photo: AP Image Graphics Bank

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A program that Gov. Terry McAuliffe says is the first of its kind in the nation will look to ease the burden on Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who use the Midtown and Downtown tunnels.

McAuliffe announced the Toll Relief program Monday morning in Portsmouth. Several city and state leaders were in attendance, including Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright and Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander.

Elizabeth River Crossings has agreed to pay $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those users most financially stressed, according to a press release from VDOT.

Monday’s announcement is part of the governor’s plan to reduce the financial impact of major construction projects in Hampton Roads. An application process will begin Dec.1 and continue through Feb. 15, 2017.

The program, which will qualifying residents a 75-cent discount on tolls, will apply only to Portsmouth and Norfolk residents.

In order to apply, residents must make less than $30,000 per year, make at least eight trips through a toll every month and have a Virginia E-ZPass transporter.

The 75-cent per-trip discount will be refunded back into their account after their eighth trip of the month.

“Following my actions to cut tolls in half at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels and eliminate them on the MLK Freeway Extension, today’s launch of Toll Relief is another big step in easing the burden of tolls throughout the region,” McAuliffe said, speaking at Monday’s announcement.

Officials say toll relief benefits will begin March 1, 2007.

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