Transportation Package Dumps Billions for Upgrades to VA Highways and Railways

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gov mcdonnell april 19 2012

Virginia highways and railways will get makeovers. Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 2313, the transporation bill into law this week and immediate action is underway. The Richmond region will receive 148-million for rail projects and 774-million for highway construction, including 62-million for improvements on the popular Interstate 64 – Interstate 95 overlap area in Richmond. The money will be allocated over the next six-years for the transporation program.

From the office of the governor, JeffCaldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov : View the draft of the six-year transporation funding breakdown

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that HB 2313, the transportation funding bill he signed into law this week, went into immediate action today when the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) released the state’s working draft of the Fiscal Years 2014-2019 Six-Year Improvement Program. The program allocates $15.4 billion, a $4 billion increase, in funding to transportation improvements over the next six fiscal years beginning July 1, 2013. Improvements include highway, road, rail, transit and bridge projects and other improvements across the state.  Each year the six-year program is updated to reflect the latest projected revenues and transportation priorities.

            “Because of the new sustainable funding, the CTB can now look at the entire six-year-program with a long-term focus on improving the transportation system we have, building projects and planning new ones,” said Governor McDonnell.  “The program reflects hundreds of transportation projects identified as critical priorities by localities, regional entities and the Commonwealth.  Most importantly, the work created by the program will sustain thousands of jobs and have a multi-billion dollar impact on Virginia’s economy.” 

            Secretary Sean T. Connaughton added, “The CTB is putting the new funding into action by programming where the transportation dollars will go, including rehabilitating existing roads, adding new capacity to ease congestion and expanding intercity passenger rail service. The draft program is about making all modes of transportation better statewide. The new funding allows the Commonwealth to advance many projects that are already in the existing six-year program and move ahead on getting new projects ready for construction.”

            “A key component of the program is the ongoing rehabilitation of the existing transportation system,” said Greg Whirley, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). “The new, sustainable revenues will accelerate VDOT’s efforts to extend the life of existing pavements and bridges, so we can get the most out of our current infrastructure.  Motorists will see more paving projects than usual in the short-term and more highway construction projects in the long-term as we get new projects ready for construction.  The result will be a better transportation system.”   

            “Timing was critical to identify a dedicated funding source for continued intercity passenger rail for Virginia and provide funding for greater public transit choices to meet the needs and challenges of the Commonwealth’s growing transportation system.  With the end of federal funding for Amtrak Regional train service this year, Virginia is now prepared to support intercity passenger rail as an integral part of its transportation solutions and is able to meet the new federal law requiring the Commonwealth to support all regional Amtrak train services originating in Virginia,” said Thelma Drake, director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).  “This new funding also allows for the continued expansion of Amtrak Virginia from Lynchburg to Roanoke within four years and for additional train service to Norfolk. The six-year program also provides new funding for high performance public transportation services.”

            The draft six-year program funding breakdown, including additional funding for Hampton Roads is below:

Highways and bridges – $11.1 billion ($2.1 billion increase)

Rail and public transportation – $3.0 billion ($0.6 billion increase)                                                

Hampton Roads transportation fund – $1.3 billion (new funding for transportation improvements in the Hampton Roads region)

Total: $15.4 billion ($4.0 billion increase)

            HB 2313 also established a new transportation revenue source for Northern Virginia, which is $1.9 billion over six years.  This amount is not reflected in the draft six-year program because it will be allocated regionally through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority Fund.

            Below is a partial listing of high priority projects that the new funding makes possible:

Statewide

·         Pavement and bridge rehabilitation

·         Smart roadway technology

Northern Virginia

·         Funding to advance the Metro Silver Line and help reduce tolls on the Dulles Toll Road

·         I-66/Route 28 interchange improvements

·         Route 606 Dulles loop

Fredericksburg

·         I-95/Route 17 improvements over the Rappahannock River

·         Route 630 interchange relocation

Hampton Roads

·         Increased intercity passenger rail service between Norfolk, Petersburg, and Richmond

·         I-64 widening from Newport News to Williamsburg

·         Route 165 widening (Military Highway) in Norfolk

Richmond

·         Rail improvements between Petersburg, Richmond, and Washington, DC

·         I-95/I-64 overlap safety improvements

·         Lewistown Road bridge replacement

Culpeper, Shenandoah Valley and southwestern Virginia

·         Extension of intercity passenger rail service to the City of Roanoke within four years

·         Route 29/Route 666 interchange improvement in the Culpeper region

·         I-81 bridge replacement over the New River in Salem region

·         Route 340 bridge replacement in Staunton region

·         Greenview Drive widening in Lynchburg region

·         AltaVista/Town of Hurt bridge replacement

·         Coalfields Expressway’s Cranes Nest section in Bristol region

·         Route 19/Route 460  Claypool Hill intersection improvements in Bristol region

Public Meetings

            The public has the opportunity to review the program and provide input, which will be taken into the consideration by the CTB before the final program is adopted in June. The FY 2014-2019 program will go into effect July 1, 2013.

            The working draft six-year program is online at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/syp-default.asp. The program can also be reviewed at Virginia Department of Transportation’s district and residency offices and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s Richmond office.

            The public may comment about essential rail, public transportation, commuter service, bicycle, pedestrian and highway projects (except local/secondary roads) at the hearings. Public comments will be considered before the board adopts a final program in June.

Districts Location Date
Richmond, Culpeper, Fredericksburg VDOT Central Office Auditorium1401 East Broad StreetRichmond, VA 23219 May 28, 2013, 6 PM
Northern Virginia VDOT District OfficePotomac Conference Center4975 Alliance DriveSuite 1N201

Fairfax, VA  22030

May 29, 2013, 6 PM
Salem, Bristol, Lynchburg, Staunton Northside High School6758 Northside High School RoadRoanoke, VA 24019 June 4, 2013, 6 PM
Hampton Roads Chesapeake Conference Center900 Greenbrier CircleChesapeake, VA 23320 June 5, 2013, 6 PM

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