2006 Code of Virginia § 56-543 - Powers and duties of roadway operator

56-543. Powers and duties of roadway operator.

A. The operator shall have all power allowed by law generally to personshaving the same form of organization as the operator, including, withoutlimitation, the authority to operate the roadway and charge tolls for the usethereof, and may pledge any revenue net of operational expenses realized fromtolls charged for the use of the roadway in order to secure repayment of anyobligations incurred for the construction, enlargement or operation of suchroadway. Any financing of the acquisition, construction, enlargement, oroperation of the roadway may be in such amounts and upon such terms andconditions as may be deemed necessary or appropriate by the operator toprovide for the acquisition, construction, enlargement, and operation of theroadway, issuance costs, other financing obligations, and reasonablereserves. The Commonwealth shall not obligate its full faith and credit onany financing of the operator. Assumption of operation of the project shallnot obligate the Commonwealth to pay any obligation of the operator whethersecured or otherwise, from sources other than toll revenue. Subject toapplicable permit requirements, the operator shall have the authority tocross any canal or navigable watercourse so long as the crossing does notunreasonably interfere with navigation and use of the waterway. In operatingthe roadway, the operator may:

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

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

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

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

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

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

B. The operator shall have the following duties:

1. It shall file and maintain at all times with the Commission an accurateschedule of rates charged to the public for use of all or any portion of theroadway and it shall also file and maintain a statement that such rates willapply uniformly to all users within any such reasonable classification as theoperator may elect to implement. These rates shall be neither applied norcollected in a discriminatory fashion, and free vehicular passage shall bepermitted to those persons referred to in subsection A of 33.1-252.

2. It shall construct and maintain the roadway for anticipated use accordingto appropriate standards of the Department for public highways operated andmaintained by the Department, and enlarge or expand the road when unsatisfieddemand for use of the roadway makes it economically feasible to do so. Theoperator shall agree with the Department for inspection of construction workby the Department at appropriate times during any construction orenlargement. In addition, it shall cooperate fully with the Department inestablishing any interconnection with the roadway that the Department maymake.

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

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

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