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Kaine announces stimulus funds for bridges

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday announced that 119 bridges across the Commonwealth will be replaced or repaired using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Commonwealth Transportation Board has awarded seven construction contracts to replace 119 structurally deficient bridges across the state that would otherwise have gone unaddressed. The awarded contracts, totaling $50.7 million, are part of the Commonwealth’s continued efforts to invest $694.5 million in highway funding from the ARRA.

“I am very pleased that the President and Congress recognize the value of infrastructure investment and included it in the ARRA. These bridge replacements and repairs will address a significant safety issue in our transportation network and put Virginians back to work,” said Kaine. “While Virginia is consistently named one of the best states for business, we must maintain our infrastructure to stay economically competitive and keep our citizens safe. No state or nation can grow out of a recession with a crumbling infrastructure, and am I very happy that these funds will provide immediate jobs and economic stimulus, as well as long term dividends for the Commonwealth.”

The contracts for bridge repair and replacement were awarded by the CTB at its October meeting, along with a contract to provide much needed improvements to Route 3 in Spotsylvania County.

“Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, Virginia will be able to replace more than 100 structurally deficient bridges,” said Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner David Ekern. “These funds have helped Virginia continue to make strategic investments during a time of declining state revenues.”

During the next 60 days the VDOT Commissioner is also expected to award contracts for the following projects:
· Witchduck Road improvements, rail projects and access improvements in Virginia Beach
· German School Road improvements in the Richmond
· Fairfax County Parkway improvements in Fairfax County

Virginia has focused its ARRA transportation funding on strategic investments that will create jobs, address congestion and infrastructure needs, and enhance economic development and intermodal solutions. Virginia has met every deadline and requirement set forth in the ARRA legislation. Virginia expects its ARRA funding to be distributed as follows:
· $175.0 million is targeted to advance much-needed congestion-relief projects resulting in close to 100 new lane miles
· $100.6 million is targeted toward structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges
· $91.2 million will fund improvements necessary near expanding military installations including 17 new lane miles and two major interchanges
· $61.7 million is targeted to improve Virginia’s rail network and access to the Port of Virginia
· $117.8 million of this stimulus funding will be for projects selected by the state’s five large urban metropolitan planning organizations
· $146.4 million is targeted toward re-paving or overlaying more than 550 lane miles of highway and primary roads in Virginia
· $20.8 million will be used for enhancement projects

Local projects included in the announcement are:

– Augusta County: Va. 971 over South River, Va. 664 over Back Creek, Va. 721 over the Middle River

– Rockbridge County: Va. 603 over Irish Creek, Va. 611 over South Buffalo Creek

– Rockingham County: U.S. 11 over Cooks Creek in Mount Crawford, Va. 624 over Elk Run, Va. 631 over Little Dry River, Va. 671 over Mill Creek, Va. 722 over Mountain Run, Va. 955 over Madison Run


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