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Author Topic: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads  (Read 52897 times)

cpzilliacus

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Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« on: March 24, 2014, 05:35:54 PM »

Virginian-Pilot: Bridge, tunnel traffic has ups and downs after tolls

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Traffic at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels gradually returned - if only slightly - in the first four weeks of tolling, according to the latest look at vehicle counts.

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Average weekday volumes increased by about 5,000 vehicles at the Downtown and by about 1,000 vehicles at the Midtown by the end of February, compared with the first week after tolls started on Feb. 1, an analysis by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization found.

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Even so, the combined daily vehicle counts at the two crossings remained about 20,000 lower than the average of 126,000 trips that were recorded during a three-day stretch before tolling.

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Meanwhile, a corresponding spike in demand at two untolled crossings held mostly steady. Volumes at the High-Rise Bridge were still up 16 percent at the end of February - the same increase that the bridge saw immediately after tolling. Traffic at the Gilmerton Bridge was up 32 percent at the end of the month, compared with a 34 percent jump initially.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 09:56:56 PM »

So now the city will be called Hampton Tolls?
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 10:23:52 PM »

Which bridge are they referring to when they mention the High-Rise Bridge?
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 10:30:06 PM »

Which bridge are they referring to when they mention the High-Rise Bridge?
The I-64 bridge over the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River.
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hbelkins

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2014, 10:33:46 PM »

That's what I suspected. I was across it at least three times this past weekend.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 06:57:39 PM »

Hampton Roads sure likes giving its bridges excessively generic or utilitarian names. Take the Steel Bridge in Chesapeake for example.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 12:50:15 PM »

Hampton Roads sure likes giving its bridges excessively generic or utilitarian names. Take the Steel Bridge in Chesapeake for example.

There is also an assumption that everyone knows what "HRBT" means on the variable message signs that show estimated speeds.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 03:07:39 PM »

So now the city will be called Hampton Tolls?

what

Hampton Roads is the name of the region, containing eight cities. Maybe more, if you expand the region to include Williamsburg and/or Franklin.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2014, 03:08:42 PM »

Right now it's Hampton Freeze.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2014, 04:16:17 PM »

Not quite…we're above freezing.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 05:10:05 PM »

Not quite…we're above freezing.

In theory, the D.C. area was above freezing today, but it sure as Hades did not feel that way!
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 10:11:21 PM »

So now the city will be called Hampton Tolls?

what

Hampton Roads is the name of the region, containing eight cities. Maybe more, if you expand the region to include Williamsburg and/or Franklin.

I would argue that several of them (Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) should really go back to being counties. Where is 'downtown' Chesapeake?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2014, 11:26:31 PM »

So now the city will be called Hampton Tolls?

what

Hampton Roads is the name of the region, containing eight cities. Maybe more, if you expand the region to include Williamsburg and/or Franklin.

I would argue that several of them (Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) should really go back to being counties. Where is 'downtown' Chesapeake?

Certainly those three have land areas (and land use) that one would normally associate with a county. 

But remember that they became cities in part to thwart annexation efforts by the "old" cities in Hampton Roads, Norfolk and Portsmouth.  There have not been any "hostile" annexations of unincorporated areas by cities for many years in Virginia (there is a de-facto moratorium that was imposed by the General Assembly sometime in the 1970's (there were a few pretty ugly annexation wars between Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria in the 1960's that may have helped to put the matter on hold)).

Right now, if counties and cities can agree on land that a city wants to annex, it can be done.  Manassas has annexed some parts of Prince William County along Va. 234 after the city and the county came to an agreement.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 01:28:20 AM »

I lived in Huntington Heights in the early 1990's, I saw a photo of Huntington Ave at 64th street from around 1952, where Huntington was 2 way,  and a sign assembly northbound had a bannered US 60 sign, a 3 line milage sign with Warwick, Williamsburg, and Richmond and below, "Entering Warwick County"
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2014, 08:28:21 AM »

Would've been the last days of that sign, as it was in 1952 that Warwick County became an independent city (at first, Warwick, separate from Newport News…the two later merged in 1958).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2014, 01:36:26 PM »

Virginian Pilot opinion: Tunnel toll issues add insult to injury

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Commuters hostage to tolls at the Midtown and Downtown tunnels cannot even take comfort in the precision by which they are charged for every trip.

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Since tolls began on Feb. 1, the all-electronic system that charges motorists for trips through the tunnels has overcharged and delayed charges against E-ZPass accounts.

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Software changes and communications breakdowns in computer hardware have caused the recent glitches. Those hang-ups join a litany of offenses generated by the tolls.

Virginian Pilot:  Tunnel tolls prove cushier than expected for operator

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Lighter traffic at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels since tolling started Feb. 1 hasn't cramped the finances of the private operator.

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Far from it. While fewer vehicles are using the tunnels than before, the number didn't fall nearly as much as Elizabeth River Crossings had forecast.

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That higher-than-expected demand - along with a state subsidy that reduced toll rates until a new Midtown tube is finished in 2016 - means the financial risk continues to shrink for the companies behind a $2 billion public-private deal.

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Combined traffic counts at the tunnels, including weekends, have held steady at about 94,000 vehicles a day since tolling began, Elizabeth River Crossings CFO Tony Evans said.

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That's about 30,000 fewer than what the tunnels saw in February 2013, but well above the 78,000 average daily vehicles the company had budgeted for the start of tolling.

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"The traffic we're getting now is more like what we would have expected to get at end of the year," Evans said.
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cpzilliacus

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Duke87

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2014, 12:12:33 AM »

Hampton Roads sure likes giving its bridges excessively generic or utilitarian names. Take the Steel Bridge in Chesapeake for example.

There is also an assumption that everyone knows what "HRBT" means on the variable message signs that show estimated speeds.

Hardly unique. I remember signs on I-10 heading west out of Los Angeles listing the travel time to "PCH".

New York City as well is commonly guilty of this: "HRD", "BRP", "HRP", "HHP", "GCP", and "CIP" will all show up on VMSs without explanation of what they mean.

Sometimes space is at a premium and you simply can't spell out the name of something more than that.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2014, 01:30:52 PM »

Hampton Roads sure likes giving its bridges excessively generic or utilitarian names. Take the Steel Bridge in Chesapeake for example.

There is also an assumption that everyone knows what "HRBT" means on the variable message signs that show estimated speeds.

Hardly unique. I remember signs on I-10 heading west out of Los Angeles listing the travel time to "PCH".

New York City as well is commonly guilty of this: "HRD", "BRP", "HRP", "HHP", "GCP", and "CIP" will all show up on VMSs without explanation of what they mean.

Sometimes space is at a premium and you simply can't spell out the name of something more than that.
VMS around here are saying "NEW YORK BOUND PULASKI SKYWAY CLOSED." If you're limited to an 8x3 grid, I would assume this is "NY BOUND SKYWAY CLOSED" and you're expected to know what the Skyway is. (Or "INBOUND SKYWAY" - and you should know where Inbound is.)

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2014, 09:08:24 PM »

So now the city will be called Hampton Tolls?

what

Hampton Roads is the name of the region, containing eight cities. Maybe more, if you expand the region to include Williamsburg and/or Franklin.

I would argue that several of them (Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach) should really go back to being counties. Where is 'downtown' Chesapeake?
Downtown Chesapeake is usually considered to be the Great Bridge area of the city.  City Hall is located at the western edge of the area (along VA 165).  When the new City Hall was finished in the mid 1980's, we used to jokingly call it the "Taj Mahal."

Chesapeake is actually made up of six boroughs: South Norfolk (northern edge of the city near Norfolk), Pleasant Grove (the rural southern portion south of Deep Creek), Butts Road (the rural southeastern portion of the city), Washington (the industrial area near southern Portsmouth along Military Hwy. and US 17), Great Bridge (the area encompassing the center portion of the city), and Western Branch (the west/northwest portion of the city--where I lived for nearly 20 years).  Each borough, except Pleasant Grove and Butts Road to some extent, has a "downtown area."

Virginia Beach is also a city made up of seven boroughs: Bayside, Blackwater, Kempsville, Lynnhaven, Princess Anne, Pungo, and Virginia Beach.  The Virginia Beach "downtown area" is much harder to discern.  City Hall is located out of the way near the Princess Anne community but most people say that the Pembroke area [the Va. Beach Blvd (US 58) and Independence Road (VA 225) intersection] is the de-facto downtown area.   

« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 09:12:16 PM by amroad17 »
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2014, 05:27:15 PM »

DelmarvaNow.com: CBBT will bid tunnel

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission has voted to end consideration of an unsolicited proposal to construct the new parallel tunnel at Thimble Shoals, citing a desire to competitively bid the project.

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“The amount of money that’s going to be available in this area for mega-construction projects in going to be drastically increased,” said Fredrick Stant, commission chairman, “so we feel that is going to breed competition.”

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Skanska, parent company of Cape Charles’ Bayshore Concrete, was part of the consortium that submitted the proposal under Virginia’s Public-Private Partnership Act to design, build, and operate the tunnel.

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The end of the consortium’s unsolicited bid does not end the parallel tunnel project; rather, it means the bridge-tunnel staff will continue to develop specifications so that the project can be competitively bid.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2014, 03:38:18 PM »

PilotOnline.com: 1 dead after tractor-trailer goes off Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

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A tractor-trailer plunged over the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel this morning, killing the driver who had tried to avoid crashing into a maintenance vehicle.

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It happened shortly after 10 a.m. as a maintenance crew was patching pavement at mile marker 15 of the northbound span, said Tom Anderson, a bridge-tunnel spokesman. The lane was partially closed and the rig hit the maintenance truck, jackknifed and crashed over the west side, near the high-rise section close to the Eastern Shore.

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"The driver of the tractor-trailer must not have seen the detail," Anderson said.

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The maintenance truck hit had a special cushion to protect workers, who were not injured, Anderson said.

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A Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewman team was training in the area and went to the scene to assist, according to the Navy.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2014, 11:39:22 AM »

[H/T Adam (Froggie)]

Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District Press Release: CBBT’s Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project Added to Hampton Roads Long Range Transportation Plan and Transportation Improvement Program

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The Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) approved an amendment to add the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel’s Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project (the Project) to the Hampton Roads 2034 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and Hampton Roads 2012-2015 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) at its Board meeting on June 19, 2014. 

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The Project will add an additional two-lane tunnel under the Thimble Shoal Channel to expand the capacity and improve the safety for travelers who utilize the CBBT and to protect the economic competitiveness and livability of the region through enhanced resiliency as the CBBT serves as the sole connection between the Delmarva Peninsula and the Hampton Roads area.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2014, 07:07:48 PM »

WAVY.COM: Drivers’ message to ERC: Higher tolls equal less tunnel use

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is telling your stories about the impact of tunnel tolls, and the projected hardship of increased tolls, possible next year.

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Aliyah Douglass lives in Portsmouth and works in Norfolk. Tim Hatton lives in Virginia Beach, but works in Portsmouth. What do they have in common? They both pay tolls every weekday to get to work through they Downtown and Midtown tunnels. And both say the tolls are changing the way they live.

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“Anytime I use the tunnel, I put it on this spreadsheet,” said Hatton, who works at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.

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Hatton’s hardcore record keeping is in the spreadsheets he creates. He doesn’t trust Elizabeth River Crossings to get his bill correct: “They had my account incorrect, and I had to call them to fix it. They would say, ‘oh, we’re working on it, I will give you a call back.'”

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2014, 09:23:03 PM »

WAVY.COM: Drivers’ message to ERC: Higher tolls equal less tunnel use

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is telling your stories about the impact of tunnel tolls, and the projected hardship of increased tolls, possible next year.

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Aliyah Douglass lives in Portsmouth and works in Norfolk. Tim Hatton lives in Virginia Beach, but works in Portsmouth. What do they have in common? They both pay tolls every weekday to get to work through they Downtown and Midtown tunnels. And both say the tolls are changing the way they live.

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“Anytime I use the tunnel, I put it on this spreadsheet,” said Hatton, who works at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.

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Hatton’s hardcore record keeping is in the spreadsheets he creates. He doesn’t trust Elizabeth River Crossings to get his bill correct: “They had my account incorrect, and I had to call them to fix it. They would say, ‘oh, we’re working on it, I will give you a call back.'”
It seems every other week that WAVY puts out some story about people moaning about the tolls and seeming to forget that the tunnels were tolled as recently as 1989.
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