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News Bits and Pieces -
June 20, 2005
The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) has adopted the final Six-Year Improvement Program for fiscal years 2006 – 2011. The program allocates $7 billion to highway construction projects and other transportation improvements managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), $1.5 billion to rail and public transportation projects statewide and $900 million planned for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. The funding will be allocated over six years, beginning July 1, 2005.
The program has held steady since 2002 when it was reduced by $2.7 billion to bring it in line with what the state could afford. The program approved today includes additional transportation funding proposed by Governor Mark Warner and passed by this year’s General Assembly session. Highlights are:* $257 million to pay off deficits on completed projects * $75 million in increased public transportation funding * $97 million for federally qualifying maintenance activities * More than $141 million in additional funding for projects in the program
“The six-year program adopted today is a testament to financial accountability in transportation,” said Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer. “The program is based on realistic revenue and cost estimates with prudent and responsible use of debt. A key highlight of the program is paying off deficits on completed projects. This allows the CTB to finish cleaning its books and advance a small number of new projects.”
“Since early 2002, we have been accountable to the taxpayers by making the six-year program financially viable, dramatically improving our performance with delivering projects on time and on budget, reducing our workforce, leveraging the private sector when it makes good business sense and making our business transparent to the public,” said VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet. “While we will continue to improve efficiencies, there remains a great need for a long-term sustainable funding source for all modes of transportation. Soaring maintenance needs will continue to drain funding from new transportation improvements.”
“The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) has a Six-Year Plan, which is new to the agency’s business,” said Karen J. Rae, the agency’s director. “The ability to assess needs, strategize and budget over six years allows us to better serve the public and the state’s rail and transit providers.”
The $900 million for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project includes $500 million in anticipated federal funding.
The CTB also approved the final transportation budget for fiscal year 06 (July 1, 2005 – June 30, 2006).
It allocates $4.1 billion for all transportation costs, including maintenance and construction of Virginia’s highway system, operations and administration, debt payments and support to ports, aviation and public transportation. After maintenance, debt and other priorities are funded from the budget, remaining revenues go to construction projects in the six-year program. The budget is $987 million increase from the $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2005. This increase reflects additional revenues provided by the transportation package passed by the 2005 General Assembly session.
The six-year program includes $543 million for public transportation and rail in fiscal year 2006. This includes funding for transit improvements, commuter assistance programs and rail programs. Other key budget items are the purchase of additional cars for commuter rail services, new transit buses and facilities, the Rail Enhancement Fund, and the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
$7 billion for 2,029 VDOT projects, including 103 new projects to the program
419 – construction projects under way
97 – projects going to construction
69 – projects in right of way stage
103 – projects in preliminary engineering
Remaining projects – safety and enhancement projects, district-wide projects such as signs, guardrails and other transportation improvements that do not have construction phases
Northern Virginia* Springfield Interchange/Phase 8 construction * Preliminary engineering and right of way funded to widen and improve I-66 from Route 29 to Sudley Road in Prince William County * Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) widening in Fairfax County
Hampton Roads* Interchange improvements along I-264 in Norfolk and Virginia Beach * Preliminary engineering and right of way funded for widening Route 17 from routes 134 to 630 in York County (additional funding accruing for construction) * Preliminary engineering funded for rebuilding Kings Highway Bridge in Suffolk (additional funding accruing for right of way)
Richmond* Rebuild Route 5 Bridge over Chickahominy River in Charles City County and the Huguenot Bridge over the James River in the Richmond region * Widen Route 360 from Winterpock to Swift Creek in Chesterfield County * Route 33 improvements in Hanover County
Culpeper* Preliminary engineering funded for widening Route 29 in Albemarle County * I-64 exit improvements at Shadwell in Charlottesville area
Fredericksburg* Replace Route 205 Bridge over Tides Mill Stream and Maddox Creek in Westmoreland County * Route 208 Spotsylvania Courthouse Bypass construction * Improving Route 30 in Caroline and Hanover counties
Lynchburg* Widen Route 460 from Route 501 to Route 29 in Lynchburg
Southwest Virginia* Widen Route 11 from west corporate limits of Salem to Route 830 * Widen Route 11 from north corporate limits of Bristol to I-81 at exit 10
Shenandoah Valley* Preliminary engineering funded for widening Port Republic Road (Route 253) in Rockingham County
Direct link to program details — syip.virginiadot.org/LineItems.asp?syp_scenario_id=56
The Virginia Engineer © IIr Associates 2005