WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Commonwealth Transportation Board announced that initial tolls on the Midtown/Downtown tunnels in Hampton Roads will be lowered by half the level expected during construction. Sen. Warner, who supported public-private transportation projects while Governor, is leading a bipartisan U.S. Senate coalition in proposing a new infrastructure financing tool at the federal level:
“I applaud Governor McAuliffe and the Commonwealth Transportation Board for their action taken today. This is a positive first step that provides much-needed relief to Portsmouth residents from the tolls that were scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 1.
As Governor of Virginia, I was a strong advocate for leveraging private sector infrastructure investment through the Public Private Transportation Act. But it is important that these partnerships also take into consideration a project’s economic impact on the region and the people they are meant to serve.
Today’s action marks an important step in achieving a more reasonable toll for the citizens and businesses of the region, and this step will provide Gov. McAuliffe with more time to examine long-term structural changes to the project’s financing plan.”