Shore Group Fights Proposed Higher Bridge Toll

Cape Charles Wave

July 22, 2013

A group of Shore residents are using 21st-century social media to battle proposed toll increases on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

“CBBT Fair Toll, It’s About Time” is the name of a Facebook page the group started July 16 which as of last night had 122 “Friends.”

The Shore group is using every means available to martial opposition to a plan to increase bridge tolls by 10 percent every five years.

In addition to friending the Facebook page, toll opponents can sign an online petition started by Exmore businesswoman Dona Danziger.

Cape Charles restauranteur Gene Kelly signed the petition “to encourage more folks to live in Northampton County and to enhance businesses who are suffering here.”

The Fair Toll group is headed by Accomack County Supervisor Wanda Thornton, who argues that “neither traffic counts nor safety issues” justify raising tolls to build new tunnels. Thornton formerly served on the Bridge-Tunnel Commission.

Thornton notes that current Bridge-Tunnel tolls generate $45 million a year, while only $23 million is needed for operations and maintenance. The CBBT already has $210 million saved up, according to Thornton.


Thornton cites New York’s Holland Tunnel, built in 1927, as an example of maintaining existing infrastructure rather than building new. “There are many tunnels across the country that are much older than the CBBT and have much more traffic, and they continue to satisfy the needs of the people using them,” Thornton wrote in a letter to the Eastern Shore Post.

Fair Toll advocates a $6 charge each way — half the current one-way $12 fee.

The Fair Toll group is urging opponents to turn out for two public meetings: The nearest meeting is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, August 1, at Northampton High School. A similar meeting will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, August 6, at Shore Bank headquarters in Onley.




7 Responses to “Shore Group Fights Proposed Higher Bridge Toll”

  1. Ann Hayward Walker on July 22nd, 2013 7:07 am

    Is it there a financial rationale to raise the toll to pay for the second set of tunnels?

  2. Geneva Smith on July 22nd, 2013 8:17 am

    I have always taken up for the toll, but I do feel that there are some people who should
    get a break. People who pay the Cape Charles water bill for instance should get a
    break; as well as people who pay personal property and real estate taxes.

  3. Anthony Sacco on July 22nd, 2013 9:02 am

    The Bridge has been the decline of Northampton County since its beginning. This higher toll will put another nail into the coffin of the senior citizens. We lost the hospital, our taxes are increasing, we will be forced to pay 20% higher prices for food and goods, the senior citizens of Northampton County will die of horrible deaths because of lack of good medical service, and who is responsible — the notorious past corrupt Board of Supervisors. My suggestion: let President Obama take over the bridge and make it free, and Northampton County will blossom and grow to one of the richest counties in America. And we should also merge with Virginia Beach for their leadership instead of the failed leadership here in Northampton County. We have someone on the Board of Supervisors right now who was once on the board of the Industrial Park and you know what happened to that project — it failed, and now he has your life in his hands. Folks, take matters into your own hands and don’t allow political parties to sway you. If we do not control our destiny no one will. God Bless Northampton County.

  4. Joe Vaccaro on July 22nd, 2013 10:37 am

    The CBBT is a well-run organization with good people but the tolls are definitely a “show stopper” for the ESVA. We’re sitting in two of the poorest counties in Virginia and aching for new businesses/visitors and now we’re going to raise the tolls? Forget the fact that gas prices are expected to continue to increase. Also consider the impact on the elderly with fixed incomes who need to make medical/shopping trips into the Hampton Roads area and some of the young who might not be fortunate enough to have a family with money or ready-made jobs for them. They’re also forced to seek work across the bridge and a lot of them NEVER return to the ESVA. I’m hoping that the CBBT takes another hard look into this toll increase; I think we’re already paying too much money for an economically failing area.

    BTW, I’ve been told that the CBBT is the most expensive bridge crossing in America; can anyone verify that and tell me where it’s more expensive than $17 per day?

  5. Mike Kuzma, Jr on July 22nd, 2013 10:46 am

    “Let President Obama take over the bridge and make it free.” What? First of all, the man has the anti-Midas touch. Secondly, There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. The Hospital is gone because Obamacare CUT the Medicare/aid reimbursements.

  6. Dona Danziger on July 25th, 2013 11:09 am

    In May, 2013, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) Commissioners proposed what we believe to be an unfair tax. That is to increase the CBBT tolls by 10% effective Jan. 1, 2014, and regularly by 10% every 5 years — forever. They also want to add an additional 5% toll increase on top of that during peak driving May thru Sept.

    We want a Fair Toll, not a higher toll. The studies do not support building a new tunnel. A fair toll is half of what the CBBT charges. Everyone should be paying $6 one way. Commercial tolls should also be cut. The toll could be cut even further if the 10 year surplus of 210 MILLION dollars was applied.

    IF the proposed toll increase passes, how will this affect the Eastern Shore? Not well, I believe, for the residents, businesses or tourism and consumer prices will increase. Please attend one or both meetings on the Shore: The meeting will be from 5-7 p.m on Thursday, August 1, at Northampton High School. Another meeting will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, August 6, at Shore Bank headquarters in Onley.

    It is crucial we have good attendance and that the CBBT Commissioners hear from you. There is also an on-line petition you can sign here:

  7. Melvin W. Williams, Jr CWO, USCG (ret) on July 31st, 2013 7:12 pm

    Shore Group, I am proud of ya and encourage all of you to stand and maybe get the toll done away with completely. The BBT has paid for itself and just as with the recent toll stoppage on the Twin Spans in New Orleans, the BBT could do the same. Think about the attention it would bring to the Eastern Shore communities and business developments. Employment would increase and living standards would become better. Good and effective government would enhance a new and better future in the ecconomic development of new businesses, job training, education, and tourism. Unity with Norfolk and Virgina Beach governing officials would be a means for this development. I was born, grew up, and educated in Cape Charles and have watched it continue to struggle as it made some decisions that, even though I don’t live there anymore, I question. The big money out-of-towners who come to town and set up housekeeping know the potential of Cape Charles and will pull it from under your very feet. So — Wake Up Cape Charles!