I-66 Inside the Beltway
Mid-2015, Governor McAuliffe announced his plan to enact tolls on Interstate 66 inside the Beltway. The toll rates will be outrageous – as high as $17.00 per round trip during peak times. For a normal 5-day work week, that will total up to around $350 per month, or $4,250 a year to use a short section of I-66. That’s the price of a car payment! Ideas like this McAuliffe Mega-Toll show the Democrat team is completely out of touch with working Virginians.
just important for people who use I-66 and their families. Toll rates this high
can have a crippling effect on local businesses and could stifle the economy of
Northern Virginia. Families who have less disposable income will have to cut
back, or maybe even change jobs.
It gets worse. The revenue from this tolling plan isn’t slated to improve I-66 or relieve the massive traffic congestion that Northern Virginia struggles with. Governor McAuliffe’s proposed tolls are going to “multimodal transportation” subsidies – that means Metro subsidies and bike paths among other things. This is outrageous, and I did everything I could to stop it.
Unfortunately, the Democrats, and some Republicans from other areas of the state worked with the governor to defeat legislation Northern Virginia Republicans introduced to prevent the tolls. We did obtain funding for badly-needed Eastbound widening from the Dulles Connector Road to Ballston. As part of my service on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, I am doing my best to ensure that the tolls are spent responsibly in a way that benefits toll-payers.
Dulles Toll Road (Rt. 28 to I-495)
Tolls on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR) have been increasing since 2005, with the funds being directed to the construction of the Dulles Rail (aka "Silver Line") project.
I believe this is fundamentally unjust, and have been working against these toll increases for several years now. Several pieces of legislation I introduced in my first session were designed to help lower tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. (HB 647, HJ 84, and HJ 85)
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is managing the DTR and the rail project, and was invited to apply for a federal government Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. I joined General Assembly members from Northern Virginia in signing a letter to the US Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx supporting the Dulles Rail TIFIA application. The letter stated that a "low-interest TIFIA loan for the Silver Line will work toward our goal of mitigating toll rate increases for drivers on the Dulles Toll Road to the greatest extent possible.
As a follow-up to the letter to Sec. Foxx, I have written a letter addressed to MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter, asking him to provide documentation of the projected reduction in toll rates provided by the TIFIA loan and recent Commonwealth of Virginia appropriations.
This information will help us determine how we can best proceed to ensure that everything possible is done to reduce tolls for commuters on the Dulles Toll Road. It will also provide assurance that the continued appropriations of Commonwealth funds are being spent wisely and effectively to reduce the burden on Dulles Toll Road users.
Many members of the Northern Virginia delegation joined me in signing this letter. We will continue fighting for lower tolls.
Dulles Airport Access
Road (Dulles Airport to I-495)
This road was built by the Federal government in 1962 along with Dulles Airport, and is restricted to those with airport business. MWAA customers ride free on this road, while MWAA charges tolls to everyone else on the adjacent Dulles Toll Road. Opening this road to the public as HOT lanes could relieve congestion on the Dulles Toll Road, allow lower tolls on the DTR, and provide more reliable transportation options to those who need it and can afford to pay. I introduced legislation to do this in 2014.
Dulles Greenway – (Leesburg to Rt. 28)
This road was privately built with investor money, opened in 1995, and is operated at no expense to the Commonwealth; in fact they are one of the largest property-tax-paying entities in Loudoun County. The agreement under which this road was built was poorly-negotiated by the Commonwealth, so tolls are higher than we’d like them to be. Delegate LaRock has supported legislation and other efforts to reduce the tolls, but no good solutions have been found yet.