Crews installing E-ZPass sensors despite judge's ruling

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by Philip Townsend, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on June 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 14 at 6:21 PM

PORTSMOUTH---Despite a judge's ruling that the tolls are unconstitutional, work crews are now installing more overhead E-ZPass sensors on the Norfolk side of the Downtown Tunnel.

A group of businesses and residents sued the Virginia Department of Transportation and Elizabeth River Crossings in 2012 claiming they did not have the authority to impose taxes. The lawsuit claims the tolls are taxes because the existing tunnels' construction costs have already been paid.

The commonwealth wants to impose the tolls in order to build a second tunnel and also to refurbish the existing tunnels and make other improvements.

Circuit Judge James A. Cales Jr. denied the state's request to suspend his May 1 ruling.

A spokesperson for Elizabeth River Crossings says the current progress is consistent with the terms of the Circuit Court as they work to appeal the ruling.

The commonwealth has said work on the project will continue while Cales' decision is appealed.
 
"I think they are too far in to stop," said anti-toll activist Charles Greenhood. "I think they're hoping to find some other resource to fund the project."
 
 

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