Hampton Roads tunnel tolls stifled by slow E-ZPass progress

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton says the state needs to speed up an E-ZPass marketing campaign before tolls begin on two Hampton Roads tunnels.

Tolls on the Downtown and Midtown tunnels will be collected electronically using E-ZPass. The tolls begin Feb. 1.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Connaughton criticized the marketing campaign's pace on Wednesday during a Commonwealth Transportation Board meeting in Richmond.

Virginia Department of Transportation consultant John Martin told the board that the agency planned to begin the marketing campaign in January. The goal is to distribute 75,000 E-ZPass transponders by February.

At Connaughton's urging, Martin said VDOT will look for ways to begin some advertising sooner.