Virginia Allocates $7B to Department of Transportation

Wed July 06, 2005 - Southeast Edition

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) June 16 adopted the final Six-Year Improvement Program for fiscal years 2006 to 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 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, VDOT officials said.

The new program includes additional transportation funding proposed by Gov. 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; and

• more than $141 million in additional funding for projects in the program.

“The six-year program … 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 CTB also approved the final transportation budget for fiscal year 2006 (July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006).

It allocated $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 a $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.

Project Highlights

Northern Virginia

• Springfield Interchange/Phase 8 construction,

• Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) widening in Fairfax County.

Hampton Roads

• Interchange improvements along I-264 in Norfolk and Virginia Beach,

• Preliminary engineering funded for rebuilding Kings Highway Bridge in Suffolk


• Rebuild Route 5 Bridge over Chickahominy River in Charles City County and the Huguenot Bridge over the James River in the Richmond region,

• Route 33 improvements in Hanover County


• Preliminary engineering funded for widening Route 29 in Albemarle County, and

• I-64 exit improvements at Shadwell in Charlottesville area


• Replace Route 205 Bridge over Tides Mill Stream and Maddox Creek in Westmoreland County,

• Route 208 Spotsylvania Courthouse Bypass construction


• 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, and

• Widen Route 11 from north corporate limits of Bristol to I-81 at exit 10.

Shenandoah Valley

•┬áPreliminary engineering funded for widening Port Republic Road (Route 253) in Rockingham County.