The General Assembly chartered the Valley Turnpike Company in 1834. The state agreed to purchase 40% of the bonds to finance 68 miles of road improvements on the historic path of the "Great Wagon Road" between
Winchester and Harrisonburg. In 1837, the state issued a second charter for improving the road south of Harrisonburg to Staunton (another 25 miles). The state expected to make a profit from these bonds, as road users would pay a toll for travelling on the turnpike,
and the state planned to recycle the funding to finance other transportation improvements in Virginia.
Unlike other toll roads, the Valley Tunpike remained in business and collected tolls until 1918. The turnpike was given to the state, which used the newly-passed gas tax (rather than tolls) to maintain the highway. In the Depression, Virginia substantially rebuilt the road, creating Highway 11.
Turnpikes of Virginia
Transportation: From Feet to Teleports
The Byrd Organization