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News Bits and Pieces -
April 05, 2005
The first cut of the draft six-year improvement program that allocates funding to transportation projects in Virginia is available for public review. The program will continue to change because it is a working draft before the final program is adopted by July 1, 2005.
The public can go to www.VDOT.Virginia.gov to review the working draft of the Six-Year Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2006-2011. The six-year program allocates funding for rail, public transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and primary and interstate highway improvement projects. Each year, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) updates the program to reflect the latest budget situation.
The CTB will hold a public hearing on the working draft of the six-year program starting at 5 p.m. on April 19 at VDOT offices. For a list of locations and public comment opportunities, go to www.virginiadot.org/infoservice/news/newsrelease.asp?ID=CO-0507
The public may also provide comments online.
The CTB will take public comments into consideration prior to adopting a final program. The draft program will change over the weeks to reflect updated estimates and schedules, the final state budget, revenue actions and legislation passed by this year’s General Assembly.
The working draft outlines how $7.8 billion in transportation funding may be allocated to projects across the state over a six–year period beginning this July. The working draft includes additional funding for transportation in the next fiscal year from Governor Mark Warner’s and the General Assembly’s budget package.
By July 1, the final Six-Year Improvement Program will reflect the final budget, revenue actions and legislation passed by the 2005 General Assembly.
Highlights of the legislative transportation package in the working draft for FY 06 are:
The legislative initiative includes a $75 million local assistance program that would expand revenue sharing and strengthen local control of projects. Other components include the establishment of a permanent rail fund, rest area improvements, funding for public-private partnerships and maintaining existing highways. These components will be reflected in the agency budgets.
A key highlight of the working draft program is that it would pay off deficits on completed projects. This would allow the CTB to finish cleaning its book and advance some new projects and other project phases.
The Virginia Engineer © IIr Associates 2005