February 15, 2017
The Commonwealth Transportation (CTB) recently released the second round of projects scored under the SMART SCALE prioritization process. More than 400 project applications submitted by localities, metropolitan organizations and other regional entities across the state have been scored based on key factors: improvements to safety, congestion reduction, accessibility to jobs and businesses, land use, economic development and the environment. The CTB will not make a decision on which projects to fund until their June meeting this year, following a five month review process.
“What’s important at this stage is the process,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “Because of SMART SCALE, the commonwealth has an objective data-driven process to score projects based on their merits and the value they bring for taxpayer dollars. The SMART SCALE process has empowered localities to submit proposed projects based on objective measures. The result is localities are working collaboratively and thoughtfully to select projects that will bring the most benefit to their areas. All of the projects will not get funded because there is not near enough resources. There are 404 scored applications requesting more than $8.5 billion in funding when $1 billion is available. With the needs far outweighing the source of funding, a deliberative and pragmatic process like SMART SCALE is absolutely imperative to make sure the limited funds go to the right projects.”
Localities submitted projects for scoring over the fall. Those projects were made available for public review and input during several fall public meetings held across the state. The CTB will release a draft scenario of projects for funding this spring for public review. The board will make its final decision on which projects to fund and include in the Six-Year Improvement Program this June. Once projects are in the program, they will be fully funded through construction.
This article reprinted from materials provided by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).