Tolls are out as state lawmakers revise I-81 legislation

Tolls are out as state lawmakers revise I-81 legislation
The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that establishes a corridor improvement program and fund. (Source: WDBJ)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - Legislation to address problems on Interstate 81 moved forward Thursday, but without any tolls to pay for improvements.

The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation that establishes a corridor improvement program and fund, and creates an Interstate 81 committee that would advise the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Supporters of the original legislation, including Gov. Ralph Northam, said tolls were needed to pay for more than $2 billion of critical improvements, but the proposal faced strong opposition from the trucking industry and others.

Another bill, introduced by Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) would have funded I-81 improvements by increasing the wholesale fuels tax by 5 percent. Members of the Senate Finance Committee voted to authorize a study instead.

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