“Alternative Facilities” Clause in VDOT’s Contract with ERC Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

WAVY catches up on the news that the $4 billion expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board “could clash with the state’s contract for the Downtown and Midtown tunnels. If that becomes a problem, it could cost taxpayers millions of dollars. An alternative facilities clause in the contract essentially says that any crossing built that could affect toll revenue for the next 58 years would leave the Commonwealth to pay it back.” VDOT Secretary Aubrey Layne tells the station it’s been “an ongoing battle to make the Downtown and Midtown tunnels affordable. ‘We’ve bought so many tolls down and now this. It was a heavy price paid,’ Layne said. ‘If we build anything over the next 58 years and it impacts [Elizabeth River Crossings] tolling revenues, then they have a right to claim compensation against the Commonwealth.”