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Hey guys --

I heard this week that the Chesapeake Expressway is jacking up toll rates very soon to as high as $6 one way during peak seasaon -- article with details here: http://hamptonroads.com/2011/03/chesapeake-approves-expressway-toll-increase

I wrote the expressway folks to complain and they sent me back a form to enroll in a Chesapeake Expressway discount program. I have attached the details here, but the very short version is that it costs $40 a year for a 2 axle vehicle, but any toll at any time would be 75 cents.

So i did some analysis and found that if you enroll in this program, it pays for itself fairly quickly under the new toll structure (about 7-8 trips per year) and that for many frequent users (16+ trips), the new structure with discounts would actually be cheaper. For my purposes, I assumed always driving down on a Friday and back on a Sunday. I also assumed 1/2 trips would be made in peak season and the other half off-season.

Please don't take this as any support for the new tolls, or advocacy for Ches Expressway, but I thought you guys would find it interesting since some on here make the trip regularly.

Tight Lines Everyone!

Ed
 

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Chesapeake is on top of the situation. First time I went through there I was looking for the hidden camera to catch the joke. But this way they get to gouge every driver without setting up a speed trap where they only get every 25th car or so. I know that there is a way around it but they (correctly) count on OBX visitors wanting to make the trip as quickly as possible. Must have learned from Delaware and their 50 feet of I-95 that they not only overcharge for but make you stop in both directions. (last time I went up that way)
OK, I feel better now.
 

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why is every rate increase a "gouge"? Its a nice well maintained road that gets a lot of traffic and trailers, nothing is free, if you want to drive on good roads, you have to pay.

If the 3$ increase is going to break your trip, then you probably wouldn't be planning a vacation to the OBX anyways
 

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How can you not consider going from 3 bucks to 6 bucks anything less than highway robbery? The road was built and it cost x-amount of dollars, and the tolls were figured accordingly. Unless the amount of the cost of the road that has been built changes, how can they justify an increase? If it means we'll pay for the road quicker, I'm all for it. But, if it's just another attempt to place a further tax burden on people who undoubtedly already pay their fair share, then they can go to hell. Everytime some jerkoff politician comes up with an idea for anything, the first thing that comes to their mind is imposing a friggin tax to pay for it. If they managed the money that we give them a little better, they wouldn't have to tax everything in the universe. And, this is nothing more than a tax increase.
 

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the cost to build the road probably has little to do with it; maintenance is more what I was thinking. Call it what ever you want; but we are blessed with great roads, up and down the coast; south of the NY state line, so if its going to add 3$ to my couple hundred dollar trip, who cares
 

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the cost of roads is all "relative". all my relatives are in N.H. where the taxes are 1/4th of what va. gets. pristine interstate cut thru granite mountains. should be tore up with frost heves but too well maintained for that. oh ya & no tolls. if you can get somebody to give you money whether the justification is or just "sounds" sound, your gonna spend it. and this is just $3 true, but how many $3, $1, $1.50 "bricks" does it take to make a wall?
 

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Well, I might be in the minority, but I don't like to pay taxes.. And I can promise you I pay my fair share.. Given the amount of people who visit the OBX using this road, it seems like an absurd increase. The damn thing is only 16 miles long.. It cost $125 million to build. The toll only covers the Chesapeake Expressway, which ends at the NC border. Don't forget, NC built their own 4 lane road, and they don't charge a toll.. How much can it cost to maintain, for crying out loud? And for that matter, I don't recall ever seeing anyone work on it since it was built. Just like every other tax, we'll have to bend over and let them shove it up our ass as far as they can.
 

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I still go the old way around the toll last exit before the toll and it actually seems quicker but you gotta risk some dumbass going under the speed limit
 

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Well, I might be in the minority, but I don't like to pay taxes.. And I can promise you I pay my fair share.. Given the amount of people who visit the OBX using this road, it seems like an absurd increase. The damn thing is only 16 miles long.. It cost $125 million to build. The toll only covers the Chesapeake Expressway, which ends at the NC border. Don't forget, NC built their own 4 lane road, and they don't charge a toll.. How much can it cost to maintain, for crying out loud? And for that matter, I don't recall ever seeing anyone work on it since it was built. Just like every other tax, we'll have to bend over and let them shove it up our ass as far as they can.
Got to agree with you here. Seems to me this is simply VA taking advantage of the large number of cars that want to visit OBX. Sounds like a source of income vice road maintenance.
 

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mike, i couldnt agree more, its just chesapeake tryin to get more money from tourists.... for me i dont use the expressway i live near the new 17 and i much rather go that way...
 

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If VDOT did not outsource maintance and collecting tolls it wouldn't be profit driven. Thats the source of the problem. VDOT wants to outsource everything so its simple to manage. Just like the PPP for midtown and downtown and the soon PPP for HRBT as well as the already established PPP for CBBT. These Public Private Partnerships are killing American another way. Look at the Currituck Bridge. Dragados USA will build that bridge. Big $ by a construciton company from Spain. Atleast the Gilmerton is being built by an american contractor but he is out of Florida. All the DOT's need to stop PPP and manage the roads like they use to to keep taxpayers from getting scerwed. Its all about miss use of tax dollars. I don't know how to fix the problem, but it is there. On a side note getting the Easy pass is suppose to get you the same discount.
 

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Don't use Easy pass towing your boat through the EasyPass lane. They sent me a photo ticket for doing that... said it is only for 2 axels. As far as the cost going up, they raise the price........ because they can and they waste the money on some "project".
 
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