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Lawmakers kill plan to add tolls to I-81 in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have rejected a plan to add tolls to Interstate 81 to pay for $2 billion in upgrades that would improve safety and traffic flow.

Legislators moved Thursday to shelve any immediate plans to add tolls or increase regional taxes to pay for improvements to the 325-mile highway that runs along western Virginia.

Lawmakers say they need more time to study potential funding sources, including an increase to the state gas tax.

Before the legislative session started, Gov. Ralph Northam and some Republican lawmakers tentatively backed a plan to add tolls that could cost as much as $50 for trucks and $25 for cars to use the entire highway. But business groups and trucking groups strongly opposed tolls, saying it would stifle commerce.

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