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Lawyer hired to fight governor’s proposed I-95 toll

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EMPORIA, Va. (WTVR) - There's been a fair amount of opposition since Governor Bob McDonnell announced a plan to add tolls to Southern Virginia.

But now, five towns, cities and counties affected by the proposed toll plaza have hired a lawyer. 

Sussex County, Greensville County, the City of Emporia, the City of Petersburg, the Town of Jarratt and the Town of Stoney Creek are contributing to the legal fees -- and might sue the state.

The governor’s proposed I-95  toll will be located in Sussex County, but will affect the aforementioned localities. The toll will cost $4 bucks for cars, and $12 bucks for trucks.

The group of y’ve hired lawyer Barry Steinberg from the law firm of Kutak Rock, LLP to fight the governor’s proposal.

In a statement Steinberg says, in part, that the single toll plaza's location is "clearly racially discriminatory." The statement goes on to say that "the racial and economic composition at this location is largely lower income and minority, a demographic that could not have possibly been overlooked when it was selected.”

Dreama Justice, who runs Carolina BBQ and Chicken in Emporia, says business is good, but worries the tolls will keep her customers away

“People may bypass us to bypass those tolls here, and they`re going to leave us and not enjoy their meal,” Justice said.

However, a spokesperson for Gov. Bob McDonnell, says tolls are a good idea.

“This is a common sense way to generate more revenue for transportation without raising taxes on Virginia citizens... And we're looking at ways to discount or reduce the fees for local, regular users of the interstate".