This Editorial appears in the Sept. 26 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
Back in 2003, Virginia began its ill-advised drive to toll an existing federal highway to raise money for road work, much to the displeasure of the region’s business community, and especially the trucking industry.
Critics of the plan eventually prevailed, when the state was unsuccessful in securing about $800 million it sought from the federal government to help build truck-only toll lanes on Interstate 81.
Without that level of funding, the state backed off its support of the plan, which was driven by a construction company that proposed to build it.
But it now seems that we are going to have to re-engage, as a new generation of Virginia officials looks to take advantage of a loophole in the federal law that prevents states from tolling existing federal highways.