McDonnell: More than $2B in road, bridge contracts advertised in 2011

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on Wednesday that the Virginia Department of Transportation advertised more than $2 billion worth of construction and maintenance contracts during 2011.

Contracts include repaving, bridge repairs and replacements, intersection and safety improvements and road widenings among several other transportation projects across the state.

“I tasked VDOT to push projects out the door and accelerate project delivery to get Virginia moving and out of gridlock,” McDonnell said. “VDOT and the construction industry moved aggressively to maximize their financial and labor resources, resulting in significant progress to make Virginia’s roads and bridges safer and better to travel on, in addition to creating jobs and stimulating the economy.”

The governor’s transportation package, passed by the legislature last year, invests $4 billion over three years. Since the funding went into effect, VDOT has completed 111 projects, another 625 projects are in preliminary engineering, right of way or construction phases and an additional 290 projects are in the pipeline for construction.

“Improvements are evident as you drive across the state,” said Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton. “Many of Virginia’s deteriorating roads and bridges are being rehabilitated, and several existing roads are being enhanced and widened to provide more travel capacity. The $2 billion in contracts not only produces a better transportation system, it also provides jobs and a better way of life for Virginians.”

“VDOT has the business discipline to plan the work and work the plan to advance critical projects to construction while at the same time have projects in the pipeline ready to go,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley.

VDOT also moved ahead on major infrastructure projects that will be financed in partnership with the private sector through Virginia’s Public Private Transportation Act. A public investment of $486 million will bring in about $2.3 billion worth of transportation improvements, including:

· Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Extension in Hampton Roads region

· Coalfields Expressway (Doe Branch/Pound Connector) in southwestern Virginia

· Route 58 (Meadows of Dan and Laurel Fork and Tri-County and Laurel Fork), also in southwestern Virginia

VDOT reached a major milestone with the I-95 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project in Northern Virginia and expects to reach a comprehensive agreement in 2012. A public investment of $97 million will generate nearly $1 billion worth of improvements to help reduce congestion. Work continues to advance Route 460, a new 55 mile highway between Petersburg and Suffolk and the Route 29 Bypass in Charlottesville.

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