The Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways approved the final piece of its recommendations to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for raising $1 billion in funding for road construction and maintenance in West Virginia.
Most of the generated revenue would come from borrowing $1 billion in road bonds against the West Virginia Turnpike, then using Turnpike toll revenue to pay back those loans. The plan also includes regular increases to tolls.
There are two proposals on the table. A plan modeled on recent changes to the Ohio turnpike would raise $600 million over the next 30 years by increasing tolls by 10 percent in the first year, then 2.7 percent each year over the next 10 years.
A plan modeled on Pennsylvania’s turnpike would generate $1 billion over the next 30 years, by increasing tolls 25 percent in the first year, then 3 percent per year over the next 20 years.
That means in 2033, under the Pennsylvania plan, passenger cars would have to fork over $4.38 just to get from Charleston to Cabin Creek.
Under the Ohio plan, passenger car tolls would top out at $2.87 by 2024.
Here’s a handy chart (click for a larger view):
It’s worse for truckers.
They currently pay $6.75 at each toll booth. Under the Pennsylvania plan, tolls for commercial vehicles would top out at $14.80 by 2033.