Virginia state officials announced last week that they had signed a controversial $1.4 billion deal to build a toll road in southeastern Virginia. Critics claim transportation resources should be spent in more heavily traveled corridors, according to a Washington Post report.

State officials said the highway will provide an alternative to jam-prone Interstate 64 for vehicles traveling between Suffolk and Richmond.

The highway will extend for 55 mi. between Petersburg and Suffolk, running parallel to U.S. 460, a four-lane road along which average volumes range from 9,200 to 17,000 vehicles a day. The state estimates that the new highway — a toll road that will not replace the existing toll-free route — will initially carry 5,000 to 6,000 cars and trucks a day.

Critics of the project say the traffic projections are too low to justify the $1.4 billion investment.