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New I-64 toll irks Virginia drivers

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NORFOLK, Va. -- The plan to add a toll for some drivers on Interstate 64 in Hampton Roads is not sitting well with commuters. The Virginia Department of Transportation announced eight miles of Interstate 64's reversible High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV-2) lanes from the I-264/64 interchange to I-564 in Norfolk would be converted into High Occupancy Toll (HOT) or Express Lanes.


While drivers with more than one person in the car can use the lanes for free, those driving solo would pay a toll during both weekday morning and evening rush hours.

"I think it's a bad idea," Norfolk driver Tony Cartwright said. "I think the folks of Hampton Roads are still trying to get over the tolls they're currently dealing with right now and the problems that exist because of the building situation."

The price of the new Interstate 64 toll would vary depending on traffic levels.

The more cars on the road, the higher the toll.

"It's always going to be high because traffic terrible there in the morning," Cartwright added.

"It's almost like taking advantage of people," driver Gwyndolynn Wagner said. "If I'm in a rush to get to work, I like to go in the HOV lanes. So why should I have to pay for it?"

Existing non-HOV travel lanes of I-64 will remain toll-free.

The new toll Express Lanes will be in effect for four hours in the morning (5 a.m.- 9 a.m.) and afternoon (2 p.m.- 6 p.m.) and will operate Monday through Friday only.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne called the move "long overdue,” and said the HOT Lanes will be “a much better use of our assets.”

The new toll should be in place next fall.