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I-95 Tolls in Virginia (VA) Win Federal Approval

The idea of tolls appearing on Virginia's busy and often dangerous I-95 has moved a step closer after Virginia Gov, Bob McDonnell announced preliminary federal approval of the plan. The move was revealed in a September 14, 2011, letter in which Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor Mendez granted "conditional provisional approval" for the tolls proposal, the Daily Press reported.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says I-95 tolls could generate $250 million over the first 5 years and more than $50 million annually in the years after. These revenues would likely be used to help fund capacity expansions and other safety improvements, as well as pavement and structure reconstruction and rehabilitation throughout the corridor, the statement said.

Tolls are widely used across the country. See this video about electronic tolls in Florida (FL).

As experienced Virginia (VA) accident injury attorneys, my colleagues and I welcome any moves that would improve safety on I-95. The interstate has seen a number of harrowing crashes in recent years, including a bus crash in Caroline County, VA, in June 2011 that killed four passengers and injured 50 people.

In April 2010, a dump truck that was being driven recklessly hit 12 cars on I-95 in Prince William County, VA, injuring five people. Fortunately, the victims all survived their injuries. A mother and her daughter who were heading to Virginia Beach, VA in June 2010 were not so lucky. They were killed in a car wreck on I-95.

The idea of tolls on I-95 and I-81 was first raised by the Virginia governor in 2010. There's little dispute about the need for safety improvements. From the North Carolina (NC) border to Fredericksburg in Virginia, more than $600 million is needed to fund safety improvement projects, according to USA Today. Some of these projects include repaving roads and filling potholes. But we believe it's essential that money raised from tolling goes to where it's really needed -- projects to improve safety on these dangerous interstates.

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