Local Business Leaders Weigh In On Proposed I-81 Tolls And Improvements

Governor Ralph Northam's proposed I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan would cost about $2.2 billion.

To pay for it, the plan proposes tolls on I-81 between 5 to 15 cents per mile, and a higher toll for trucks.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Governor Ralph Northam's proposed I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan would cost about $2.2 billion.

To pay for it, the plan proposes tolls on I-81 between 5 to 15 cents per mile, and a higher toll for trucks.

Virginia residents would also have the option of buying an annual pass for $30.00.

Members of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance said travel along I-81 impacts commerce for local businesses.

VDOT data shows I-81 has the highest rate of accidents and delays among all of Virginia's interstates.

The improvements are designed to cut down on crashes.

Christine Kennedy, the Alliance's chief operating officer, said the plan would have a domino effect, boosting the local economy and making the interstate safer.

"This is going to open up a number of opportunities for things to happen more smoothly, efficiently, and safely on this interstate," she said.

Kennedy said they're thankful the governor recognizes the challenges and is offering this solution.

Northam has indicated members of both parties support the plan.

The Alliance said a toll is a small price to pay for a big economic payout in the long run.

It's now up to the General Assembly to decide on the plan.

 

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