Officials argue for cut of Express Lanes revenues

WASHINGTON — Transportation officials in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County are concerned that they will be left out of getting any of the millions of dollars generated by the extension of the Express Lanes on Interstate 395.

The lanes will be extended up to the D.C. line and by about two miles in Stafford County. The tolls on the extension will send millions in revenue to the jurisdictions along that corridor, The Free Lance-Star reports.

Under the Express Lanes extension agreement, Transurban, the operator of the lanes, will make annual payments with the money going to transit services and other related transportation needs that will be identified in a study.

Stafford County is included in the study, along with Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William counties and the city of Alexandria. The city of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County are not.

Leaders with the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (FAMPO) voiced their concerns at a meeting last week of their Policy Committee.

Matt Kelly, who is also a Fredericksburg city councilman, said FAMPO needs to be an equal partner in the process. Policy Committee Chairman Tim McLaughlin, who is also a Spotsylvania supervisor, said his region sends many toll-payers toward D.C., and that his region should reap the benefits.

Hap Connors, the local Commonwealth Transportation Board member, tried to reassure the committee, telling them, “Each jurisdiction … will have a seat at the table,” the paper reports.

The committee voted to send a letter to Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne asking that FAMPO be included in the planning process.

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