GLOUCESTER, Va. (WVEC) -- The push to lower tolls on the Coleman Bridge is going to Washington, D.C.
Right now, drivers with E-ZPass pay 85 cents to cross. Without one, you'll pay at least $2.
Chair for the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors Phillip Bazzani has been working with local and state leaders to find ways to help reduce tolls on the Coleman Bridge. Now, they're getting congressional support.
Congressman Rob Wittman is considering other options to fund the bridge maintenance, and he thinks the Navy might be the answer.
Congressman Wittman authorized language in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to have the Navy look to potentially bear responsibility of the maintenance and operation costs of the bridge.
Bazzani and Congressman Wittman tell 13News Now the main reason the bridge opens is for Navy ships to carry cargo to and from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.
Congressman Wittman says people who drive back and forth across the bridge daily can pay upwards to $500 a year in toll fees, some of which may go to operate the bridge's double swing span.
Congressman Wittman goes on to say in the bill “The committee wishes to better understand the benefit the Department of (Defense) is deriving from commuter tolls and whether commuters are bearing an unfair burden.”
“For decades, U.S. Navy ships have used the unique span of the George P. Coleman Bridge for transit to and from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. In this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, I asked the Navy to work with local and state stakeholders in Virginia to generate cost mitigation options associated with operation of the span. This increased collaboration will continue a mutually beneficial relationship for the Navy and for the residents of nearby Gloucester and York Counties. I look forward to working with Supervisor Phil Bazzani and gaining his input from the Gloucester County perspective as this process moves forward,” Congressman Wittman says.
Wittman directed the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services, not later than March 1, 2018.
The National Defense Authorization Bill language is below: