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Portsmouth judge denies stay of ruling in toll case

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Posted at 2:11 PM, May 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-21 17:21:51-04

Portsmouth, VA. – A Portsmouth judge has denied a stay of ruling saying the state cannot impose tolls on the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels and the MLK extension before the Virginia Supreme Court rules on the appeal.

Previously, a judge had ruled that the contract between VDOT and ERC was unconstitutional.

The state then moved to get a stay so that the projects could continue to move forward, meaning the tolls could have been implemented by February 2014.

The state argued in court Tuesday that they have a reasonable chance of winning the appeal and that not allowing the tolls would cause irreparable damage to the Commonwealth, affecting bond rating and putting future projects in jeopardy.

However, the judge disagreed and denied the stay, saying if there is any irreparable damage, the state brought it on themselves.

The case is not expected to be decided in the Virginia Supreme Court until the spring of 2014.

ERC says the work on the projects will continue in the meantime. They released a statement today after the ruling:

Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) will continue working with our partners at the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) toward an appeal of the Portsmouth Circuit Court ruling and final order handed down today.

In the meantime, ERC remains committed to delivering the project consistent with our agreement with VDOT and the Commonwealth of Virginia in accordance with the terms of the circuit court order.

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