Toll increases at some Hampton Roads crossings loom as 2020 approaches

Traffic

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Once the new year begins, your wallet could take a hit if you’re traveling frequently over the Elizabeth River.

Tolls are scheduled to increase starting Jan. 1.

Tolls will affect drivers traveling the Downtown Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel and South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.

10 On Your Side spoke with drivers who go out of their way to avoid paying tolls.

“I go around the tolls,” said Portsmouth resident Lauryn Bradshaw. “I go around the tolls, hit the High Rise or maybe the Gilmerton and try to avoid the tolls as much as possible.”

“It does sometimes take us three times longer to get where we’re trying to go, but for the most part, that’s what we do,” Chesapeake resident Rebekah Scaggs said.

Rates for the Downtown and Midtown tunnels go up starting Jan. 1. Peak rates for passenger vehicles with E-Z Pass go up from $2.20 to $2.33. Off-peak prices will increase from $1.79 to $1.85.

Monday through Friday, drivers can expect the following:

For passenger vehicles, which are classified as two-axle vehicles including motorcycles:

  • Midnight to 5:30 a.m. – $1.85 with E-Z Pass, $5.54 with pay by plate
  • 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. (peak) – $2.33 with E-Z Pass, $6.02 with pay by plate
  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – $1.85 with E-Z Pass, $5.54 with pay by plate
  • 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (peak) – $2.33 with E-Z Pass, $6.02 with pay by plate
  • 7 p.m. to midnight – $1.85 with E-Z Pass, $5.54 with pay by plate

For heavy vehicles, which are classified as vehicles with three or more axles, including cars with trailers:

  • Midnight to 5:30 a.m. – $5.54 with E-Z Pass, $9.23 with pay by plate
  • 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. (peak) – $9.29 with E-Z Pass, $12.98 with pay by plate
  • 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – $5.54 with E-Z Pass, $9.23 with pay by plate
  • 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (peak) – $9.29 with E-Z Pass, $12.98 with pay by plate
  • 7 p.m. to midnight – $5.54 with E-Z Pass, $9.23 with pay by plate

Officials say the tolls will cover continued finance, operations and maintenance of all ERC facilities, including the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, and the MLK Expressway.

“It’s not really a shock, because things are rising everyday price-wise,” Bradshaw said.

Some drivers say the tolls are frustrating.

“It’s ridiculous to spend so much money in tolls just to get to work or to get to the doctor’s office or just to do down the road,” said Chesapeake resident Dorothy Whilden.

Tolls at the Jordan Bridge will increase by 10 cents to $2.55 for passenger cars. A spokeswoman says the tolls help maintain the bridge.

“I do wonder when it will stop,” said Whilden.

Both groups, the ERC and South Norfolk Jordan Bridge, encourage those who do use those routes to get an E-Z Pass. Those customers will, “pay the lowest possible toll rates when using the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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