CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Those who were able to drive to the West Virginia Parkways Authority headquarters in Charleston Thursday stood the best chance of acquiring one of those $24 three-year unlimited use EZ passes for the West Virginia Turnpike. The agency’s website experienced technical problems for most of the day.

A message posted at spelled out the problem.

“Due to a high volume of traffic, we are experiencing technical issues with online E-ZPass signups. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please visit the Parkways Authority in person at 3310 Piedmont Rd., Charleston.”

The interest has been high as the Dec. 31 deadline to purchase the deeply discounted pass draws near. Beginning Jan. 1, the pass will go to $25 a year and those without a pass will have to pay increased tolls to use the Turnpike. Passenger vehicle tolls are doubling from $2 to $4 at each of the Turnpike’s three toll plazas.

The deeply discounted pass was a proposal that came from Gov. Jim Justice not long after he was sworn-in to office in January 2017. The money from the passes and new tolls will go toward millions of dollars in new debt from a new bond issue approved earlier this year. The money from the bonds will finance road and bridge construction projects in 10 southern West Virginia counties.

Lines are expected to be long again Friday at the Parkways Authority headquarters. Monday, Dec. 31, is a state holiday.