augusta free press news

What the politics of transportation means to you

Item by Chris Graham

Wondering how all the political talk about next week’s special legislative session on transportation and who will be willing to do what and the rest affects you? Check out the Virginia Department of Transportation website.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board is meeting later this week to vote on its proposed Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program, and in seeking public input on the plan has asked for public input on the projects that are holding their place in the plan and those that are being left out because of funding constraints.

“We continue our focus on safety and projects that we can advance through the pipeline to make the most of the funds we have available,” Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer said. “But the six-year program to be voted on later this month includes significant reductions to state-funded construction projects. We must present a realistic, fiscally responsible transportation program to address the needs of the Commonwealth. As our revenues have fallen by $1.1 billion, we have to make difficult decisions about what projects we can afford.”

Projects on the cut list in the Augusta Free Press coverage area include safety improvements at exits 220 and 222 on Interstate 81 in Staunton and the scheduled replacement of a bridge over White Oak Draft at Va. 728 in Augusta County. Two Rural Rustic Road projects in Augusta County and a project to widen Port Republic Road near the new Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Rockingham County are among those projects that will be delayed due to lack of funding.

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