New tolling agreement signed for Midtown Tunnel

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New tolling agreement signed for Midtown Tunnel

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Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC), a consortum formed by Skanska Infrastructure Development and Macquarie Group has agreed to amend the Comprehensive Agreement with Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), allowing toll-free travel on the future Martin Luther King (MLK) Freeway Extension, expected to open in December 2016.

Additional provisions of the amendment include:

  • The funding of a toll assistance charitable organization that will be established to subsidize tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels for those in need. ERC will provide US$5 million to this fund over 10 years, beginning January 2017.
  • And, the establishment of a first-time court appearance fee and fine maximum of $2,200.

ERC signed the P3 contract in December 2011. VDOT contributed about US$420 million to the project, while Elizabeth River Crossings has committed US$272 million in private equity for the 58-year contract.

The Elizabeth River Tunnels Project in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, provides critical transportation infrastructure to the Hampton Roads region. It involves design, construction, finance, operations and maintenance responsibilities for a new Midtown Tunnel and MLK Freeway Extension; existing tunnel rehabilitation; interchange modifications; and incident response, snow removal and roadway repairs for more than 50 lane miles within the project area.

ERC Greg Woodsmall stated:

"We look forward to our annual contribution to the fund whose purpose will be to make life easier for qualified tunnel users who rely on the Downtown and Midtown tunnels as essential parts of their daily commute. Added to our annual subsidy to Hampton Roads Transit for better bus and ferry service across the Elizabeth River, we will continue to be part of the transportation and connectivity solution here in Hampton Roads in a respectful and meaningful way."

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