Virginia approves I-81 truck tolls

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A bill that would allow widening I-81 in Virginia using tolls imposed only on heavy trucks was signed into law April 6 by Gov. Mark Warner. A proposed plan would widen I-81 to four lanes in each direction and separate cars from trucks along the entire length of the road. In areas of high truck traffic, the plan proposes truck-only interchanges. The plan also calls for new rest and parking areas designed exclusively for trucks.

“Anyone who drives I-81 knows the sooner this road is widened and car and truck traffic is separated, the safer all motorists will be,” said Gov. Warner upon signing the bill.

The Virginia Trucking Association and the American Trucking Associations have previously spoken out against the legislation, arguing that I-81 truck tolls would amount to double taxation, because the industry already pays for its highway use through highway taxes. The groups also say that high toll rates would lead truckers to use toll-free local roads.