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Vehicle counts drop after Va. tunnel tolls start

Tuesday - 2/11/2014, 9:41am  ET

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The private operator of two Hampton Roads tunnels says vehicle counts declined after tolls went into effect.

Figures released Monday by Elizabeth River Crossings show an average 103,543 vehicles used the Downtown and Midtown tunnels each weekday last week. That's down nearly 22 percent from vehicle counts before the tolls went into effect Feb. 1.

Average weekend trips totaled 62,968, a decline of more than 28 percent.

Elizabeth River Crossings attributes the decline to drivers either choosing alternative facilities or reducing trips. The company says in a news release that the decline is in line with its initial expectations.

The company also says about 63 percent of vehicles making weekday trips were equipped with an E-ZPass transponder. More than 57 percent of vehicles making weekend trips had a transponder.

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