Tuesday, August 9, 2022

$2,200 cap set for Southside drivers facing thousands in tolls and late fees

NORFOLK — Relief is on the way for drivers who have accrued thousands of dollars in tolls and late fees using the Elizabeth River Tunnels.

Macquarie-Skanska, owner of Elizabeth Crossings, has agreed to take corrective action in response to what Gov. Terry McAuliffe called “abusive” conduct toward Virginia drivers with outstanding toll bills.

Some drivers have been charged thousands of dollars in tolls and late fees — amounts that far exceed the state’s laws.

“Last week in Portsmouth, I expressed my absolute disgust with the Macquarie-Skanska partnership’s toll violation collections process on the Elizabeth River Tunnels. I made it clear the Commonwealth will not stand for this ill treatment of its citizens,” McAuliffe wrote in a Friday news release.

In response, the company has agreed to cap the amount of money due from first-time offenders at $2,200. Drivers enrolled in the Toll Relief Program will be expected to pay half of that sum.

People who have paid more than $2,200 to the company will get a refund within 60 days of filling for one, the release states.

The company has also agreed to take control of its customer service program via hiring new management and changing corporate culture. It will also pay the Toll Relief Program $500,000 to help Southside drivers, and correct a right-hand turn near the MLK Freeway to ensure drivers aren’t wrongfully charged for a toll they didn’t use.

The changes come after McAuliffe has already lowered toll costs and removed them on the MLK Freeway, wrote Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander.

“I applaud Governor McAuliffe for standing up for our citizens,” Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander wrote in the release. “This critical relief couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Mayfield can be reached at adrienne.m@wydaily.com.

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