Code of Virginia

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

§ 56-543. Powers and duties of roadway operator.

A. The operator shall have all power allowed by law generally to persons having the same form of organization as the operator, including, without limitation, the authority to operate the roadway and charge tolls for the use thereof, and may pledge any revenue net of operational expenses realized from tolls charged for the use of the roadway in order to secure repayment of any obligations incurred for the construction, enlargement or operation of such roadway. Any financing of the acquisition, construction, enlargement, or operation of the roadway may be in such amounts and upon such terms and conditions as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by the operator to provide for the acquisition, construction, enlargement, and operation of the roadway, issuance costs, other financing obligations, and reasonable reserves. The Commonwealth shall not obligate its full faith and credit on any financing of the operator. Assumption of operation of the project shall not obligate the Commonwealth to pay any obligation of the operator whether secured or otherwise, from sources other than toll revenue. Subject to applicable permit requirements, the operator shall have the authority to cross any canal or navigable watercourse so long as the crossing does not unreasonably interfere with navigation and use of the waterway. In operating the roadway, the operator may:

1. Classify traffic according to reasonable categories for assessment of tolls; and

2. With the consent of the Department, make and enforce reasonable regulations, including regulations:

a. Which set maximum and minimum speeds that shall conform to Department and state practices;

b. Which exclude undesirable vehicles or cargoes or materials from the use of the roadway; or

c. Which establish commuter lanes for use during all or any part of a day and limit the use of such lanes to certain traffic.

3. The enumeration of powers in this subsection shall not limit the power of the operator to do anything it deems necessary and appropriate in the operation of the roadway, provided that the practice is reasonable and nondiscriminatory. The powers granted to the operator in this subsection shall not be deemed to limit the authority of the Commission to regulate the operator under this title.

B. The operator shall have the following duties:

1. It shall file and maintain at all times with the Commission an accurate schedule of rates charged to the public for use of all or any portion of the roadway and it shall also file and maintain a statement that such rates will apply uniformly to all users within any such reasonable classification as the operator may elect to implement. These rates shall be neither applied nor collected in a discriminatory fashion, and free vehicular passage shall be permitted to those persons referred to in subsection A of § 33.2-613.

2. It shall construct and maintain the roadway for anticipated use according to appropriate standards of the Department for public highways operated and maintained by the Department, and enlarge or expand the road when unsatisfied demand for use of the roadway makes it economically feasible to do so. The operator shall agree with the Department for inspection of construction work by the Department at appropriate times during any construction or enlargement. In addition, it shall cooperate fully with the Department in establishing any interconnection with the roadway that the Department may make.

3. It shall contract with the Commonwealth for enforcement of the traffic and public safety laws by state authorities, and may similarly contract with appropriate local authorities for those portions of the roadway within the local jurisdiction.

1988, c. 649; 1991, c. 272; 1993, c. 732.

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.