Funding makes history, but N. Va. still needs help

News Washington Post February 28, 2005
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Despite Virginia approving the largest increase in transportation in two decades, transportation officials in the northern regi

Despite Virginia approving the largest increase in transportation in two decades, transportation officials in the northern region of the state still believe more needs to be done in terms of funding. According to the Washington Post, the approved $848.1 million package will only ensure that previously advertised projects will be built on time. It does nothing to stimulate new road construction growth.


Northern Virginia will receive $35 million, which will go towards projects like the widening of I-95 south of the Springfield Mixing Bowl and I-66 near Gainsville. State officials said the money would guarantee both projects hit their original start times.


The remaining dollars will most likely go toward the revamping of the Rte. 29-I-66 interchange in Gainsville and completing a carpool link through the Springfield interchange. However, according to the Washington Post those jobs are underfunded by a combined $197.4 million, which means nothing will be done until lawmakers can find additional funds.


Virginia also will use $75 million of the $848.1 million to help localities across the region to build their own projects, part of an effort to encourage more local control or road construction.


Gov. Mark Warner said the funding is a significant step in solving the state's mounting transportation needs and would jump-start projects in Northern Virginia.


"Every new interchange, every new road that's finished on time and on budget does help improve the problem," Warner told the Washington Post. The governor, however, doesn't believe it is a long-term financing plan.



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