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Author Topic: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads  (Read 56335 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2014, 11:13:59 PM »

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.

Your point about the crossings being tolled is spot-on correct.

IMO, expensive bridge and/or tunnel infrastructure like this should not be de-tolled.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2014, 03:42:27 PM »

WTOP Radio: Lawmaker: Herring to probe Va. tunnel toll late fees

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A lawmaker says state Attorney General Mark Herring’s office will look into late fees that Elizabeth River Crossings adds to motorists’ bills on unpaid tunnel toll invoices.

Sen. Kenny Alexander told The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/1C14nwC) that Herring’s office agreed to research the $25 fees that are tacked on when an invoice goes unpaid for more than 30 days and again when a second violation notice is sent.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2014, 08:43:19 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot op-ed: Tolls are likely here to stay, but do they really have to be everywhere?

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Everyone wants something for less. From food to clothes, cars to homes, no one wants to pay extra if given the choice.

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So it's no surprise that the Chesapeake City Council unanimously passed a resolution last week urging no tolls on a section of Interstate 64 that includes the High-Rise Bridge. State officials are now studying how to widen an 8-mile stretch of I-64, roughly between I-664 and I-464.

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Did anybody really expect council members to say, "Toll us. We won't mind"? That would be political suicide.

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The no-toll vote occurred even though Aubrey Layne, the state's top transportation official, told The Pilot's Dave Forster "it's a very low probability" the congested section of highway in Chesapeake could be built without tolls. The project will cost around $2 billion.

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It's become an unpleasant fact of life in South Hampton Roads. Even with new state and regional dollars coming in, many highway construction projects are just fancy blueprints if they lack tolls.
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Takumi

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2014, 11:07:09 PM »

Driving through the area today, Military Highway traffic was fairly steady (it was rush hour) but nothing bad, especially at the Gilmerton Bridge. I'm sure if I-64 were to get tolled it would be worse.

On a semi-related note, the Dominion Boulevard construction at VA 165 was progressing fairly well.
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Tom958

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2014, 11:57:18 PM »

How can widening the "8-mile stretch of I-64, roughly between I-664 and I-464" possibly cost $2 billion?
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Pink Jazz

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2014, 12:16:50 AM »

How can widening the "8-mile stretch of I-64, roughly between I-664 and I-464" possibly cost $2 billion?

I presume it would require a complete replacement of the High Rise Bridge over the southern branch of the Elizabeth River.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2015, 10:19:16 PM »

WVEC TV Channel 13: Survey: Tolls provide some benefit for drivers while unpopularity grows

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Results from a survey by Christopher Newport University's Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy shows there have been some benefits for drivers since tolling began at the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels.

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The popularity of those tolls has lessened since they were put in place in February, 2014.

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The survey is the second part of a two-part poll commissioned by the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization.
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1995hoo

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2015, 09:21:04 AM »

How can widening the "8-mile stretch of I-64, roughly between I-664 and I-464" possibly cost $2 billion?

I presume it would require a complete replacement of the High Rise Bridge over the southern branch of the Elizabeth River.

Almost certainly; in addition, there are likely to be various environmental and wetlands regulations in place now that didn't exist when the road was built that would complicate matters and drive up the cost. The road probably could not be built in that same location were it to be proposed today.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2015, 10:43:02 AM »

WAVY-TV (10): Transportation secretary lacks confidence in ERT for new tolls

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — More tolls are guaranteed for Hampton Roads. The question is: how many and when? 10 On Your Side sat down with Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne Friday, who raised concern about the tolls slated to start next spring at the MLK Expressway.

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“I don’t have a lot of confidence,” Layne said. “We haven’t gotten it right yet, and we’re going to add another level of complexity.”

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Layne referred to the billing troubles incurred with Elizabeth River Tunnels. 10 On Your Side has reported on problems of over billing, billing for trips not taken and late fees for people who never received a bill in the first place.

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The MLK extension project will start new tolls next March, and by design, certain drivers will not have to pay.

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“I’m concerned to make sure we get that right, because that was a negotiated part of the contract that you’re getting on and off in the city of Portsmouth, you shouldn’t have to pay a toll,” Layne said.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2015, 11:05:56 PM »

Has the MLK extension to 264 started yet?
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Thing 342

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2015, 08:16:19 AM »

Has the MLK extension to 264 started yet?
It started at least a year ago. There have periodic lane closures along I-264 to install girders for overpasses at the interchange. Not sure about when it's supposed to be finished.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2015, 08:24:01 AM »

The project website says the MLK Extension is to be completed in the 4th Qtr of 2016...

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froggie

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2015, 08:47:01 AM »

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Has the MLK extension to 264 started yet?

As others noted, yes.  We toured some of the grading and bridgework at I-264 during the Hampton Roads meet last year.
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ARMOURERERIC

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2015, 05:40:47 PM »

Thanks, was watching GSV, but nothing showed up yet.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2015, 10:43:33 PM »

[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

The CBBTD is moving ahead with the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel Project, and has added a new section to its Web site, appropriately labeled Parallel Thimble Shoal Channel Tunnel Project.

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District is hereby providing advance notice of its intent to issue a Request for Qualifications ("RFQ") for the design and construction of the Parallel Thimble Shoal Tunnel. For more information, click here.
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froggie

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #40 on: May 19, 2015, 04:42:01 PM »

Some late updates regarding the US 17/Dominion Blvd/Steel Bridge project.  Putting them here since the new Steel Bridge will become a toll crossing once construction is complete.  Those who attended my 2014 Hampton Roads meet may recall that this project was a big part of the meet.

According to the city's project page, there were some significant realignments that occurred over the winter.  At the time of our meet, construction was well underway on one of the new spans, and US 17 traffic was temporarily rerouted via Bainbridge Blvd.  By December, the future northbound bridge was completed and traffic was rerouted onto it in a 2-lane/2-way configuration.  The website says traffic was shifted on December 15.  The old drawbridge can now be removed so that the future southbound bridge can be built.

With traffic shifted to the new northbound bridge, Bainbridge Blvd is permanently closed at Dominion.  In addition, the connector between Bainbridge and Dominion at Dominion Lakes Blvd is now closed as well as a new permanent connection between Bainbridge and Dominion is built there this year.

At Dominion Lakes Blvd, the east half of the interchange is effectively complete.  Southbound Dominion traffic is using the future northbound bridge, while both northbound Dominion traffic and local traffic to/from Dominion Lakes Blvd are using the future northbound ramps.

At Great Bridge Blvd (VA 190), Dominion Blvd traffic is using the future ramps on each side while the overpasses are built.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #41 on: May 19, 2015, 05:31:36 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot via hamptonroads.com [Opinion]:  No chance to make lemonade in Portsmouth

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Tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels are hampering business and stifling economic recovery in Portsmouth. In other words, they're doing precisely what opponents warned they would.

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The ridiculous fees, foolishly negotiated by former Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration and upheld by the state Supreme Court, are part of a 58-year partnership between the state and Elizabeth River Crossings, the private consortium overseeing construction of a new Midtown tube and renovation of the Downtown Tunnel.

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Under terms of the deal, tolls were set to start in 2013 at $1.84 one way for cars at rush hour, and $1.59 for cars during non-peak hours. McDonnell used other state funds to delay those tolls for a year.

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Shortly after taking office, Gov. Terry McAuliffe used bonds and other undesignated state funds to slash the rush-hour tolls to $1 one way for cars last year, with an increase of 25 cents built in annually until 2017, when rates return to $1.84. In subsequent years, original provisions of the contract would allow ERC to hike tolls by 3.5 percent or more annually.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #42 on: May 19, 2015, 05:35:46 PM »

Some late updates regarding the US 17/Dominion Blvd/Steel Bridge project.  Putting them here since the new Steel Bridge will become a toll crossing once construction is complete.  Those who attended my 2014 Hampton Roads meet may recall that this project was a big part of the meet.

Thank you.  That was a fine meet, and an interesting project. 

The City of Chesapeake is becoming quite the toll road operator (I cannot name another municipality in the U.S. that directly operates two toll facilities).

Interesting that they are touting the fact that Chesapeake, and not a private operator like ERC (see editorial above) will own the new crossing.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #43 on: May 19, 2015, 06:29:50 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot via hamptonroads.com [Opinion]:  No chance to make lemonade in Portsmouth

Story that is behind the editorial above:

The Virginian-Pilot via hamptonroads.com: Study: Tunnel tolls are hurting Portsmouth badly

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Tolls, tunnel closures and related road construction projects are hurting Portsmouth badly, according to the latest study on the impact of the Downtown and Midtown tunnel tolls.

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Perhaps the most significant finding is an estimate showing the city is missing out on $24 million in taxable revenue a year.

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"The danger for Portsmouth is what that number is likely to increase to in the future if businesses go out of business," said James Koch, the Old Dominion University economist who did the $18,000 study for the city.

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Tolls on the tunnels began Feb. 1, 2014, to pay for a new Midtown Tunnel and other projects.

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The study also makes clear what many have long suspected: Portsmouth is affected by the tolls much more than any other city, and fewer drivers are passing through the tunnel.
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Thing 342

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #44 on: May 19, 2015, 07:15:14 PM »

The Virginian-Pilot via hamptonroads.com [Opinion]:  No chance to make lemonade in Portsmouth

Story that is behind the editorial above:

The Virginian-Pilot via hamptonroads.com: Study: Tunnel tolls are hurting Portsmouth badly

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Tolls, tunnel closures and related road construction projects are hurting Portsmouth badly, according to the latest study on the impact of the Downtown and Midtown tunnel tolls.

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Perhaps the most significant finding is an estimate showing the city is missing out on $24 million in taxable revenue a year.

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"The danger for Portsmouth is what that number is likely to increase to in the future if businesses go out of business," said James Koch, the Old Dominion University economist who did the $18,000 study for the city.

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Tolls on the tunnels began Feb. 1, 2014, to pay for a new Midtown Tunnel and other projects.

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The study also makes clear what many have long suspected: Portsmouth is affected by the tolls much more than any other city, and fewer drivers are passing through the tunnel.

What a load of BS. The article advertises the loss of $24M in taxable revenues, but downplays the fact that this only means a loss of about $360,000 in revenues, a drop in the bucket compared to the city's $242M in annual tax revenues. For comparison,  All this study does is give the city government another excuse for their growing incompetence. It's quite ironic that the ones who complained the loudest for the tunnel expansion are now the ones complaining the loudest about tolls.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2015, 04:17:06 PM »

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It's quite ironic that the ones who complained the loudest for the tunnel expansion are now the ones complaining the loudest about tolls.

You may or may not recall that Portsmouth was against the tolls from the onset, and even went as far as pushing a lawsuit against the reinstated tolls before the project even began.

Norfolk was the one pushing tunnel expansion more than Portsmouth, as they are more directly impacted by tunnel congestion, especially at the Midtown Tunnel.  Hampton Blvd routinely backs up through West Ghent, and on bad days I've seen it backed up as far as ODU.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2015, 06:02:06 PM »

WAVY.COM: Hampton Roads leaders discuss long-range transportation projects

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In the annual Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) retreat, leaders found out what projects are part of the long-range plan, that spans over the next 25 years.  They discussed funding and which projects should get priority, when it comes to spending tax dollars.

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“We have to make sure, as a region, that we have consensus on what projects we’re going to go forward with and prioritize, so that’s the challenge,” HRTPO Board Chairman and Newport News Mayor McKinley Price said.

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There were more than 200 projects submitted that would cost more than $24 billion to accomplish. They range from improvements to highways and bridges to the light rail in Virginia Beach and even bike trails. Each project was scored, based on five criteria, and those scores will determine which projects make the long-range plan.

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After the meeting, Secretary Layne told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings, “I wanted to bring two messages today: one, explain new legislation, working with the state and how their projects could be scored and looked at better to attract state funding. But, also to bring some realism into the process. There are some additional monies, but not nearly enough to do everything.”

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One of the key things Layne discussed at the meeting was the impact of tolls in the future and how they will play into the future development of transportation in Hampton Roads.

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“Unfortunately, there is just not enough money for these large bridge and water process to be constructed. They’re billions of dollars, without additional revenue, and that typically means tolls,” Layne said. “But we can be smart about that … for instance, if we have a toll, we always [should] have a free alternative.”

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Secretary Layne also had a lot to say about Route 460 and the Midtown-Downtown tunnels. He said those projects have some major flaws.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #47 on: May 24, 2015, 12:59:02 AM »

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It's quite ironic that the ones who complained the loudest for the tunnel expansion are now the ones complaining the loudest about tolls.

You may or may not recall that Portsmouth was against the tolls from the onset, and even went as far as pushing a lawsuit against the reinstated tolls before the project even began.

Norfolk was the one pushing tunnel expansion more than Portsmouth, as they are more directly impacted by tunnel congestion, especially at the Midtown Tunnel.  Hampton Blvd routinely backs up through West Ghent, and on bad days I've seen it backed up as far as ODU.

Yep. Traffic no longer backs up through Portsmouth residential neighborhoods. Most Portsmouth residents know how to cut through Port Norfolk to get to the Midtown. (Obviously doesn't work for most Churchland residents.) As a former resident of Shea Terrace I was upset when we lost our little ramp to the MLK off Booker Street.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2015, 10:57:00 PM »

WAVY-Channel 10: Another issue with tunnel toll billing surfaces

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A viewer contacted 10 On Your Side, after she got a tunnel toll bill for nearly $750.

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The Elizabeth River Tunnels bill shows her going through the Downtown Tunnel, eastbound AND westbound on the same day — at the exact same time, 12 p.m.

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The bill, with charges dating back to September, is on a pink piece of paper, which the agency says is a final notice. 10 On Your Side has heard from another viewer with the same issue.

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ERT told WAVY.com the dates are correct, but the time stamp is wrong for the final notices from that time period. They say they think it’s because of a glitch from when the company had to stop billing temporarily, amid changes to their billing system in October.
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Re: Hampton Roads, Va. area toll crossings and toll roads
« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2015, 01:58:37 PM »

WAVY-Channel 10: Is toll money being used on inexperienced tunnel washers?

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10 On Your Side was told the new company contracted to clean the Midtown Tunnel is inexperienced and can’t do the job. Was that sour grapes from the more experienced company that used to clean the tunnel, or was it truth?

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10 On Your Side went down to check out both tunnels when they were being cleaned Monday and Wednesday nights.

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“He is a wannabe tunnel washer that is bidding on a statewide contract,” said the owner of Ken Barlow Cleaning Services.

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Those are harsh words are from the experienced tunnel washer, Ken Barlow, who cleans several tunnels around the country and has for years. On Monday night, WAVY.com saw his crew moving quickly through the Downtown Tunnel with power washers.

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Barlow is irked that newcomer Saleem Raja and his company, ETI Environmental, is taking away his business.

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“When he submitted the bid, he didn’t have any customers. He is not qualified, and there is no one who can attest to his being qualified,” Barlow said.

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Barlow protested VDOT awarding Raja with a contract for the HRBT and MMMBT when he had no letters of reference from past customers. VDOT agreed and reopened the bids.
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