Last year the General Assembly passed its historic transportation plan that will generate $4 billion for the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure over the next year three years--- without raising taxes. This represents the greatest one-time fiscal commitment made to transportation in a generation. Since then Governor McDonnell and his staff have been hard at work putting this new money to use efficiently and effectively in every region of the state, and wanted to take a moment to share some important updates from this effort with the public. Last week the following has been announced:
- A comprehensive agreement has been reached on the Downtown/Midtown Tunnel – Martin Luther King Freeway Extension Project in Norfolk. Adding an additional tunnel at the Midtown Tunnel has long been one of the Hampton Roads region’s top priorities, and, once complete, the project will significantly reduce congestion and save the average round-trip user over 30 minutes per day.
- An in-principle agreement has also been reached for advancing the I-95 HOT Lanes Project in Northern Virginia to provide much needed congestion relief throughout Virginia’s most congested corridor. As part of this effort, Virginia will be directing significant additional funding into expanding bus service in Spotsylvania, Stafford, Prince William and Fairfax Counties, and will construct over 3,000 new park and ride spaces. This project will support over 8,000 new jobs.
- Advancements will be taking place on the Coalfields Expressway Project and additional improvements to Route 58 in Southwest Virginia, and have reached an agreement to build the next phase of Route 58 improvements along the 36-mile corridor between Hillsville and Stuart. These two projects are designed to help spur critical economic development and job creation in some of the areas hardest hit by the economic recession.
The condition of the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure is fundamentally linked to the strength of our economy and future economic growth, opportunity and prosperity. Because of that his Administration has made improving our roads, ports and rails in an efficient and cost-effective manner a top priority, and has certainly had some early success. As we forge ahead through one of the most challenging economic periods in decades, his staff will continue conceiving and implementing common-sense solutions to ease traffic congestion, strengthen our economy, and get more of our fellow Virginians back to work.