City’s unpaid E-ZPass account prompted Nickel Bridge investigation

Posted at 12:14 AM, May 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-29 18:43:34-04

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- It is a story that school board member Kim Gray said she was "grateful" CBS 6 uncovered.

According to sixteen-year-old student Khalil Walker, several weeks ago his school bus was stopped on the Nickel Bridge in Richmond because the E-Zpass was not paid.

"It is embarrassing we couldn't go through," Walker said. "My bus had to back up and the driver had to pay the toll with their money."

Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden  confirmed to CBS 6 that the invoice for the E-Zpass was a couple days late and that it has since been paid.

However that is just the beginning, as CBS 6 uncovered.

The Richmond Metropolitan Authority informed Dr. Bedden that school buses are not allowed on the Nickel Bridge in the first place.

According to signs located outside the Nickel Bridge, the weight limit to travel on the bridge 7,500 pounds per vehicle.

VDOT engineers told CBS 6 the average weight for a fully-loaded bus is around 26,000 pounds.

"This is very discouraging," Gray said in an interview Wednesday. "I have seen buses go over the bridge all the time," she added.

Dr. Bedden said investigations have been launched into both incidents. He said he views the Nickel Bridge bus driving incident as a cause for terminating employment.

RMA did not return phone calls regarding its policies for enforcing weight limits on the Nickel Bridge.