George Allen opposed to I-95 toll plan

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HENRICO Va. (WTVR) - George Allen is not in favor of VDOT's and Gov. Bob McDonnell's plan to add tolls to Interstate 95 in Sussex County.

Allen, who is in a tight U.S. Senate race with former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, released a statement Friday saying he is opposed to adding the tolls.

“I commend Governor McDonnell for putting together a comprehensive transportation plan that invests in our infrastructure, in stark contrast to his predecessor, Tim Kaine, who shut down rest areas.

Allen said that tolls are sometimes a good idea for new construction when they are paid for by drivers who use those roads.

"However, I do not support the proposal to install tolls on the southern stretch of I-95. Southern Virginia already faces significant economic challenges and these tolls could disadvantage job-creating businesses in the region...," said Allen in a news release.

Rep. Forbes (R -  4th District) also sent a letter to the governor in July urging him to halt plans to add tolls.

However, McDonnell fired back saying the state is running out of transportation resources. He said dwindling maintenance funds for the heavily traveled interstate are creating a funding crisis.

“I understand…if you have a road that’s free now, nobody wants to pay more,” argued the governor.  “But we’ve got to make numerous safety improvements to that road, it’s the busiest road on the East coast and this is a reasonable way to get that done.”

And the mayor of a small Virginia town got into the action this week. Stony Creek Mayor Frank Jackson  brought his big rig, decked out in Keep I-95 Toll Free signage, to Charlotte in an effort to get attention of politicians at the Democratic National Convention.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Tolls proposed for I-95 in Virginia