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Commonwealth Transportation Board approves six-year improvement program

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The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted today to approve the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budgets for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), as well as the FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), which allocated a record $22.9 billion to highway, rail, and public transportation projects over the next six fiscal years beginning July 1, 2019.

“The FY 2020 budgets and program will advance our Commonwealth’s commitment to improving and maintaining infrastructure and building our multimodal platform for Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2025 SYIP provides funding to more than 3,800 transportation projects, including highway, road, bridge, rail, transit, bicycle/pedestrian paths, and other improvements for the Commonwealth’s infrastructure. Projects selected from the third round of SMART SCALE were also included, bringing $859.4 million to 134 highway and public transportation and transportation demand management projects statewide. This SYIP also includes, for the first time, prioritized statewide transit capital grants and performance-based operating assistance allocated under the newly-established program, called Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT).
FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program breakdown:
  • $18.3 billion – Highway Construction (VDOT):
  • $1.5 billion – State of Good Repair
  • $1.3 billion – High Priority Projects
  • $1.3 billion – District Grant Program
  • $271 million – Legacy Construction Formula Programs, which include work funded by a formula that pre-dates SMART SCALE and sunsets this fiscal year.
  • $4 billion – Specialized Programs, which includes $886 million for the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program and $584 million for interstate improvements throughout the Commonwealth
  • $1.2 billion – Revenue Sharing
  • $1.7 billion – Maintenance
  • $104 million – Research and Planning
  • $6.9 billion – Local and Regional Funding
  • $4.6 billion – Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT):
  • $803 million – Rail Initiatives
  • $3.8 billion – Public Transportation
  • $22.9 billion – Total VDOT and DRPT SYIP
Safety was also a top priority for the CTB, which adopted a resolution to approve calendar year 2020 Safety Performance Targets. These measures and targets related to the performance of the Commonwealth’s surface transportation network were developed by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, pursuant to state and federal requirements.
“Safety remains VDOT’s first priority and goal,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich. “As a part of our commitment to reduce highway crash-related fatalities and injuries, we continually review opportunities for infrastructure improvements and assess how safety funding can be optimized and prioritized.”
The CTB also approved a $450,000 Rail Industrial Access Program grant to InterChange Cold Storage, LLC, of Harrisonburg. The grant supports the company’s $41.6 million capital investment at its new 250,000-square-foot facility in Rockbridge County, which is expected to create 88 new jobs, by funding over 40% of the costs to construct a 2,810-foot rail spur.
With rail service operated by Shenandoah Valley Railroad, InterChange Cold Storage, LLC, will move 35% of its product by rail on 104 rail cars annually, removing 354 trucks a year from Virginia highways.
“The Rail Industrial Access program is an important tool to support Virginia’s efforts to attract jobs that have access to the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation assets,” said DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell. “We are proud to partner with InterChange Cold Storage as they continue their successful growth in Rockingham County.”
The approved FY 2020 annual budgets for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, DRPT, and VDOT are outlined below.
VDOT’s annual budget for FY 2020
VDOT’s annual budget for FY 2020 is $6.4 billion, representing a 17% increase from the FY 2019 budget. The increase is primarily driven by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission’s contribution to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project.
The annual budget is based on the most recent official state revenue forecast from December 2018 and estimated federal funding.
The breakdown:
  • $402.4 million – Debt service
  • $2.2 billion – Road maintenance and operations (includes city and county street payments)
  • $589.3 million – Support to other agencies, tolls, administration and other programs
  •  $2.7 billion – Construction
  • $485.1 million – Funding dedicated to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions for local and regional transportation projects
  •  $6.4 billion – Total VDOT annual budget
DRPT’s annual budget for FY 2020
The annual DRPT budget for FY 2020 is $730.5 million and is based on estimates of actual outlays of federal, state, and local funding.
The breakdown:
  • $590.7 million – Public Transportation Programs
  • $84.8 million – Passenger and Freight Rail Programs
  •  $0.7 million – Rail Industrial Access Programs
  • $10.1 million – Rail Preservation Programs
  • $13.5 million – Commuter Assistance Programs
  • $14.5 million – Agency Operating Budget
  • $3.6 million – Planning, Regulation, and Safety Programs
  • $12.6 million – Human Service Transportation Programs
  • $730.5 million – Total DRPT annual budget
In this month’s meeting, the CTB approved two VDOT contracts totaling $21.7 million.
A $12.6 million contract was awarded to A&J Development and Excavation Inc. of Mt. Crawford, to replace a bridge built in 1965 which carries Route 11 over Interstate 81 in Rockingham County, part of VDOT’s Staunton District. The new bridge will be constructed about 60 feet south of the existing structure. Additional work will include installing signals at the intersection with the I-81 north exit and entrance ramps to improve traffic flow. Completion is expected in spring 2021.
A $9.1 million contract was awarded to Corman Kokosing Construction Company of Annapolis Junction, Md., to rehabilitate a bridge carrying Interstate 195 south over Route 76 (Powhite Parkway) in the City of Richmond. Construction on this Richmond District project will be completed in stages to consistently allow two lanes of moving traffic to minimize disruption to motorists. Completion is expected in late winter 2021.
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system.

augusta free press
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