Make a Statement: Skip the Tolls

Update (2018): this blog has not been updated in ten years. It was just announced that the tolls will soon double, from $2 to $4. This will pose an extreme hardship to the people of southern West Virginia. Why not put the tolls in the eastern or northern panhandles instead of the very poorest region in the state?

Back in 2009, when the tolls were last increased, we were promised that the increase was necessary so the tolls could be removed by 2019.



Despite public outcry, the WV Parkways Authority, with the support of Governor Manchin, exacted a 60% toll increase on the West Virginia turnpike: a highway that runs through some of the poorest regions in the state. Thus, the same people who are struggling the most in this recession will feel the brunt of the increase. Tax the poor because they can’t afford to fight back.

There are three toll booths on the turnpike. On this post, I will give you directions to get around all of them.  Skipping some of the booths is surprisingly easy, while avoiding others can be a little troublesome.  If you know of an easier way, please comment.

Heading North

Ghent Tollbooth

If you plan on taking I-64 East (towards Virgina) at Beckley, skipping this toll is almost like a shortcut. It will certainly save miles, if not time.

1. Take Exit 28

2. Turn Right onto Odd Road, travel .2 miles to intersection.

3. Turn Left onto Route 19, travel about 11 miles to town of Beaver.

4. At the stoplight, turn right onto Airport Road (there will be signs for McDonalds and Interstate 64), travel a couple miles until you run into the interstate.

Time lost: 0 to 5 minutes, depending on traffic.

Comments: Scenic ride. For an even more scenic twist, on Route 19, take route 307 (just past Glade Springs) instead of driving all the way to Beaver. This road will also take you to interstate 64, and may be a tad quicker than Airport road.

If you are staying on I-77 North, skipping this toll may be bit inconvenient.

1. Take Exit 28

2. Turn Right onto Odd Rd, travel .2 miles to intersection.

3. Turn Left onto Route 19, continue about 15 miles into the city of Beckley to the intersection with South Kanawha Street.

4. Travel Several blocks to the intersection with West Prince Street, which is a one way road.

5. Turn Left on West Prince Street and travel a couple blocks to the intersection with Robert C. Byrd Drive. If you miss West Prince Street, don’t panic, just continue on South Kanawha (now called North Kanawha) until the intersection with Robert C. Byrd Drive.

6. Turn Left on Robert C. Byrd Drive. In a couple miles you will run into Interstate 64W/77N.

Time lost: 15-25 minutes.

Comments: If you are in a major hurry, just pay the 2 bucks.

Pax Tollbooth

There are two ways to avoid this toll. The shortest option involves taking a narrow road that is now paved.

Shortest Way

1. Take Exit 54

2.  Turn right, then turn Left at the intersection.

3.  Continue on this road (which becomes very narrow) for a few miles. Bear left at the Plum Orchard Lake signs.

4. Continue a few miles until you come to a stop sign. At the stop sign turn right and you will see signs for the interstate.

Time Lost: 7-12 minutes

Longer Way

1. Take Exit 48 (you will have to pay a .40 cent toll to exit; the toll was .25 cents before the increase)

2. Take Route 19 for approximately 10 miles to Delta Rd. 153 at Whipple. There is a sign for Mossy on Route 19 that directs you to this road. Follow interstate signs, or signs to Mossy to navigate the towns after exiting from Route 19.

3. The road will soon straighten out. Follow it 12 miles until you run into the interstate.

Time lost: 20-30 minutes.

Chelyan Tollbooth

This is an easy one.

1. Take Exit 79 at Sharon.

2. Turn Left, then Right at the intersection

3. Continue for about 5 miles until the T intersection with Route 61 (at the underpass).

4. Turn Left, travel about a mile and hop on the interstate.

Time Lost: 5-7 minutes

Comments: Watch out for overweight, deadly coal trucks.

Heading South

Basically, just follow the above directions in reverse. The only thing that changes are the exits.

Cheylen Plaza exit: 85

Pax exit: 60

Ghent exits:

Coming from W 64–125 to Beaver

Coming from S 77–42 Robert C Byrd Drive


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