Virginia Has Potential Exposure to Millions in ERC Lost Revenue Claims

The Washington Post reports that Virginia’s decision to proceed with a $3.3 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion could expose it to “a major financial body blow” and demonstrate “the long-term consequences of mismanaging public-private partnerships. At issue are the highly generous terms of a tunnel deal that state officials agreed to in 2011 — and locked in for 58 years — with [the Elizabeth River Crossing project developers]. That agreement to build a new tube and rehabilitate tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth, and collect billions of dollars in tolls over coming decades, includes a non-compete clause” that exposes Virginia to potential liability for ERC toll revenue losses, if any. VDOT Secretary Aubrey Layne tells The Post “he’s unwilling to put a dollar figure on what the state could potentially owe for going ahead with the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel,” but the newspaper quotes estimates that the cost could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.