Tolls get their day in court

Posted at 11:31 PM, Apr 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-01 08:33:41-04

Tolls on the tunnels are coming, unless a judge in Portsmouth Circuit Court says otherwise.

"We've been counting the hours, the minutes," said Terry Danaher of

Terry Danaher has spearheaded the campaign to hit the looming tolls. She's confident the tolls will be struck down when the trial starts Wednesday.

Under the already agreed upon private-public partnership the downtown and midtown tunnels would be tolled. Two more lanes are being added to the midtown.

The legal question is whether the company, Elizabeth River Crossings can put a toll in before the work has even started.

"There is the whole issue is this is a tax because it's being used to finance and not a user fee as they're trying to claim," Danaher said.

Kisha Brown runs The Dreadlock Spot in Cradock. She knows if people are shelling out money at the tunnels, they'll have less to spend at her shop.

"I feel that if the tolls had been put into place it will deter a lot of people from coming out to Portsmouth," Smith said.

Cradock's charm has faded with every empty storefront. The fear business owners like brown have is the toll will further isolate Portsmouth.

"It won't be given an opportunity to grow and flourish if we get those tolls put into place," Smith said.