My way or the highway — I-81, that is — Virginia politics

Think of those two dread words for a Virginia legislator in an election year — taxes and tolls — as Shad Plank spins a tale about how trying to fix a deadly road in western Virginia turned into money to widen the last 30 miles of Interstate 64 between Williamsburg and the Richmond suburbs.

Back in January, Gov. Ralph Northam came up with a way to generate the $2.2 billion it will take to make I-81, that nerve-wracking, crash-burdened artery through the Valley of Virginia, less of a terror to drive. (Shad Plank has had plenty of white-knuckle moments on the stretch between Roanoke and Staunton.)