Northam, several GOP lawmakers call for tolls for I-81 upgrades

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and several Republican lawmakers are tentatively backing a plan to add tolls to I-81 in western Virginia that could cost as much as $50 for trucks and $25 for cars to use the entire 325-mile highway. Northam and lawmakers said at a Tuesday news conference that the interstate is in critical need of about $2 billion in upgrades to improve safety and traffic flow. They said they support a plan advanced by the Commonwealth Transportation Board to add tolls and would allow commuters to buy an annual pass, projected to be about $30. Northam and lawmakers said they were open to discussing other funding options, like tax increases. But they said they wanted to finalize a funding source during this year’s legislative session.

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