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8/16/2013 - New Bridge Tunnel rates in detail
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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Commission approved a 10% toll increase Tuesday effective January 1, 2014 with a 10% toll increase to occur every five years thereafter.
While some drivers crossing the CBBT will be paying more beginning January 1, 2014, others may benefit from new toll discounts.
The new rates will include a two tier rate for passenger cars which will be higher during peak driving periods. Peak driving periods are defined as Friday through Sunday May 15 through September 15. All other periods will be considered off-peak. The rate for a passenger car starting January 1, 2014 will be $15 during the designated peak days with a $3 return rate within twenty-four hours and $13 for off peak days with a $5 return rate within twenty-four hours. The result is a $1 net increase over the current round trip toll rate. A new proposed round-trip discount of $8 will also apply to cars and light trucks that are towing trailers. The previously approved Commuter Rate of $5 remains unchanged and will also take effect by January 1, 2014. All toll discounts will be applied to EZPass customers only. Travelers that currently do not have an EZPass account are encouraged to visit the CBBT Administration Building to open an account, or sign up on line at www.ezpassva.com.
The revenue from the proposed toll increase will be used to help finance the construction of the Thimble Shoal Channel parallel tunnel. The Commission originally planned to begin construction of the parallel tunnel in 2021 but decided to move forward earlier than that due to the current favorable interest rates for tax exempt debt and decreased construction costs.
A resolution approved at the May 2013 Commission Meeting states that one reason to proceed with the construction of a new parallel tunnel is that as the age of the existing tunnel approaches 50 years maintenance needs will increase. The existing tunnel structures require that traffic be stopped for most maintenance activities, which creates approximately 1400 hours of lane closures per year. The new parallel tunnel will allow traffic to be rerouted to allow for needed maintenance projects.
For fiscal year 2012, the CBBT took in approximately 55 million dollars and spent approximately 39 million dollars. As of June 2013, they have amassed a reserve fund for parallel tunnel construction of 186 million dollars. The current debt is approximately 102 million dollars.
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