PORTSMOUTH (AP) -- An Old Dominion University economics professor is studying how the impending tolls on the Downtown and Midtown in Portsmouth will impact residents, businesses and the government.
The city of Portsmouth hired James V. Koch this month to conduct an economic impact analysis. Koch is the former president of ODU
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Koch will give his analysis to the city by the first week of January.
City leaders will then give it to Portsmouth's legislative delegates for the 2014 session. The hope is that state lawmakers might introduce a bill that would reduce tolls for Portsmouth residents.
The tolls set to start February 1 will help pay for a new tunnel and the renovation of the existing tunnels under a public-private partnership with the state.
Elizabeth River Tunnels says it hopes to have the new Midtown Tunnel and the MLK Extension open to traffic by late fall 2016.
Elizabeth River Tunnels is selling E-ZPass. Get one by January 3 and you'll get 5 free trips through the tunnels.
There are free alternate routes, including the Military Highway Gilmerton Bridge and the High Rise Bridge on Interstate 64 (I-64).