Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 20. Virginia Highway Corporation Act of 1988

§ 56-539. Certificate of authority.

A. Any person may apply to the Commission for a certificate of authority to construct or operate a roadway, or to extend or enlarge a roadway for which a certificate has been issued under this chapter. If the Commission determines in writing, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that the application is complete, that approval of the application is in the public interest, and that the applicant has complied with the provisions of this chapter, it shall approve the application, with or without modification, unless it receives a duly adopted resolution of the governing body of any jurisdiction through which the roadway passes, which requests that the Commission deny the application, in which case the Commission shall do so. If the application is approved the operator shall construct the roadway. Upon completion of construction and the opening of the roadway to the public, the roadway shall be kept at all times open for use by the public and made accessible to the public, upon payment of the toll established by the operator; provided that the roadway may be partially or completely closed, temporarily, with the concurrence of the Department, to protect the public safety or for reasonable construction or maintenance procedures. The certificate of authority may be transferred with the approval of the Commission if the Commission finds the transfer to be in the public interest after consultation with the Board and notice to the governing body of any jurisdiction through which the roadway passes.

B. When applying to the Commission for a transfer, extension, or amendment of a certificate of authority, the applicant shall provide the Commission with sufficient information to demonstrate the financial fitness of the entity applying to operate the roadway or, in the case of a transfer, the transferee, including:

1. The operating entity's or transferee's balance sheet and income statement for the most recent fiscal year and any published financial information, including the most recent federal Securities and Exchange Commission Forms 10-K and 10-Q. If such information is not available, the applicant shall submit other financial information demonstrating the financial fitness of the proposed operating entity or transferee or any other entity that provides financial resources to the operating entity or transferee.

2. Proof of a minimum bond rating of "BBB-" or higher or an equivalent rating by a major rating agency, or a guarantee with a guarantor possessing a credit rating of "BBB-" or higher from a major rating agency. If such proof is not available, the applicant shall submit similar documentation to what would be submitted to a major credit rating agency to demonstrate the operating entity's or transferee's creditworthiness.

The Commission shall not approve a transfer, extension, or amendment of a certificate of authority unless the Commission receives such information and determines that the proposed operating entity or transferee is financially fit to do so.

1988, c. 649; 1991, c. 272; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 349, 350.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.