PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - The fight to stop tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels will go to court Wednesday.
Citizens for Accountability in Politics will be in Portsmouth Circuit Court. The group has spent months raising money and support for a lawsuit that contends tolls at the tunnels are unconstitutional.
Spokesperson Terry Danaher said not all tolls are unconstitutional.
"This particular situation where they start to toll us before there is any facility and they are re-tolling facilities that have already been paid for, that's the issue," Danaher said.
She argues taxpayers are investing in this project, but only one investor, the company building it, will get a return on the investment.
Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) has a public-private partnership and contract with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
"It's highway robbery," Danaher said. "It actually takes away our power as voters."
The lawsuit could have implications for potentially all Americans, not just those in Hampton Roads.
"There is now a real push at the federal level for public private partnerships to pay so that our elected officials can say 'I didn't raise taxes,'" Danaher said.
The tolls could cost drivers $1.84 cents to cross between Portsmouth and Norfolk, it could cost thousands, if not more, down the road.
An ERC spokesperson told WAVY.com they are continuing with the project according to their contract.
Citizens For Accountability In Politics is confident they will Wednesday, but are prepared for a long appeals process.
Portsmouth City Council authorized $50,000 to help pay for the legal battle.
The group is still taking public donations.
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