Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
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.