Businesses concerned about tolling on Dominion Boulevard Veterans Bridge

Posted at 4:09 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 17:58:07-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - The countdown begins.

It will no longer a free ride across the Dominion Boulevard Veterans Bridge in Chesapeake.

Some businesses say when the bridge was first constructed, they saw a large decrease in their customer base. Now with tolling set to begin Thursday – they’re concerned about their bottom line.

“We went from having an almost full lunch, like all my tables full to having about four or five tables," Winston's Raw Bar and Grill waitress Norah Morris said.

Come midnight when tolling goes into effect, Morris fears it’ll get worse.

“It makes me really nervous. I’m really scared that we’re gonna lose a lot of our business. We’ve already had a few customers, that live on the other side, tell us that they are not gonna come back because they don’t wanna pay the money," Morris said.

The fees are a concern Vincent Donnally, who crosses the bridge daily.

“It’ll cost me roughly $2, which will equate to about a $50 increase pay per month," Donnally explained. "So that’ll be a month increase in my expense without any additional increase in my monthly income.”

But he admits there is a silver lining.

The cost is part of the boulevard's improvement project, which began a few year ago.

“I think it’s great we got the new road improvement. It makes movement throughout Chesapeake and Norfolk and Virginia beach much easier. So I don’t mind paying the toll, if I get the benefit from the road," Donally explained.

The fee will cost $1 for EZPass holders and $3 those without one.