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Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel tolls to rise in 2014

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission voted Tuesday to increase tolls by about 10 percent.

The Associated Press

8/15/2013

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Beginning next year, motorists will have to reach deeper into their pockets to travel the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission voted Tuesday to increase tolls by about 10 percent. The increase is effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Under the new rate schedule, the fee for passenger vehicles will increase from $12 to $15 during peak periods on Fridays through Sundays between May 15 and Sept. 15.

However, there will be one discount. The 24-hour return rate on those days will fall from $5 to $3. All other times, the passenger vehicle rate will be $13 and the return rate will remain $5.

Other increases include an $80 hike in escort fees for overwidth vehicles and a $5 increase for six-axle vehicles.

Media outlets report that the increases are intended to help fund construction of a second Thimble Shoal Tunnel. The tunnel is one of two spots on the bay crossing between Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore where traffic from the bridges converge to two lanes while passing under water. The second tunnel would allow traffic to continue in two lanes in each direction and offer an alternate route if one of the tunnels had to be closed for any reason.

The project was approved by the commission in May. It was approved by the General Assembly in 1990.

The financing plan includes toll increases every five years on the 17.6-mile crossing after this first increase in January.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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