Family says tolls forced them to move

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Just as tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels are about to go up, some people are saying enough is enough.

The Driscoll family called Portsmouth home for nine years.

“I think Portsmouth is the best kept secret in this area, to be quite honest,” Beth Driscoll said. “I think Portsmouth has wonderful restaurants, wonderful homes. I mean, I think it’s a great little area.

But something drove them out: tolls. “They were taking $75 out, every two weeks,” Driscoll told WAVY.com.

Tolls hit them hard. The family drove their daughter through the tunnel to private school everyday for years, but once the tolls started, they started to feel the pinch.

Photos: Tolls force family to move

“That’s like a mortgage payment a year, that’s like $1,200 to $1,500 a year. It’s a lot of money,” Driscoll said.

Between school, extra curricular activities and both parents working on the other side of the tunnel, it just made sense to sell their home.

10 On Your Side talked to several local realtors who said they have not seen many others selling because of the tolls, but Rusty Hulett of Hulett & Associates said tolls have changed their conversations with clients.

“We do a buyer orientation, so we ask them where they live, where they work, and we do share the information, you know, you’ve got these tolls to go through,” Hulett said.

The tolls are going up by 25 cents, starting January 1. For someone who commutes across the tunnels to and from work, five days a week, that will add an extra $130 a year. For the Driscoll’s, it would have added at least $400 a year, and that’s why they’re now living in Norfolk.

“We’re in a better place, much better place,” Driscoll said.

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