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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Toll Road coming for State Route 3?

Here is a timely story on the progress of a toll road authority that directly impacts Spotsylvania County. According to the story, the authority is the first step in developing a toll road off a yet-to-be-built exit on Interstate 95 south near Central Park, and cross through that area to Gordon Road, bypassing Route 3 congestion.

Sen. Edd Houck D-Spotsylvania wanted the bill changed so that any unpaid bonds would never become the responsibility of the state. He also said he doesn’t think the public, average Joe and Jane, truly understand this form of new government being proposed. 

"I’ve lived and represented that area now for 26 years I don’t really believe this whole authority proposition has been thoroughly vetted in the public domain," Houck said. "It is a level of government that we haven’t had up in our area before we’ve got to let the people up in that area have some idea. Not just the stakeholders, the public. After all, that’s who we expect is going to pay these tolls and use this road."

Fredericksburg City Councilman Matt Kelly, who wrote an op-ed piece this week with Supervisor Hap Connors in support of a Toll Road Authority, opined on the story:

As per the OpEd on the Toll Road Authority on Wednesday the development community is expected to be footing a portion of the bill. Right now that are in for half of the cost of the studies. While I would agree Rt. 3 is a mess I would ask that you take into consideration that those viewed as responsible for that mess are also in part responsible for new schools, police stations, road improvements etc. through revenue generated that we don’t have to get from you. This is not a zero sum game-all bad or good.

Connors seems to be the transportation guy on the Board of Supervisors, willing to give anything a try. But as we have seen, it is hard to get any project finished when it involves someone’s personal property. The Harrison Road Connector is a good example of the difficulties supervisors are running into as they try new funding ideas to get roads paved. It’s rocky at times.

What does everyone think of a Toll Road Authority? It certainly doesn’t get discussed very often at the supervisor level. 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2009/02/20/toll-road-coming-for-state-route-3/

  • lgross

    VDOT will NOT be building any more roads for the
    foreseeable future unless the gas tax is
    increased and the last time I checked 80% of the
    citizens were opposed to increasing those taxes.

    VDOT just cut more than 2 billion dollars from
    their budget and most of what is left is
    maintenance and even that is being stressed.

    When folks says that the state is not living up to
    their responsibilities on roads – what they are
    saying, in effect, is that the state should
    increases taxes.

    But why should they do this if they are going to
    turn around and give that money back to the
    counties in the first place?

    Because.. of course.. then the BOS does not
    have to raise taxes.

    and the really bad part? No longer can the BOS
    claim – with new development – that VDOT is
    responsible for building the new roads!

  • gramps

    need to understand that there is NO FREE LUNCH. While the local and state pols are waiting for the fed handout; just where do the citizens think all that fed “spending” is going to come from? Well, it eventually will come out of all the pockets of the citizens everywhere. We are in a tragic spiral and it is not going to go away real soon.

  • lgross

    no free lunch – agree.

    data point – “I already pay taxes for roads. Why
    should I pay more”? that’s the mindset

    data point – Why does the state collect the tax
    from Spotsylvania residents and then give the
    money back – mostly proportionately rather than
    Spotsylvania doing the tax and the local roads as
    more than 40 other states currently do it?

    data point – how many BOS claim that land-use
    decisions and development that impact roads are
    VDOT responsibilities instead of their own –
    whose decisions directly impact roads, the need
    for roads and whether or not a zoning decision
    carry’s with it the responsibility to consider the
    impacts on the roads?

    Don’t stop growth, especially commercial – but do
    have a real financial plant for upgrading the
    roads.