ROADS/BRIDGES: Va. governor announces plan to generate $500 million annually for maintenance

State currently shifts money over from its new construction budget to cover repair need

Funding News The Virginian-Pilot December 06, 2012
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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell no longer wants to see the state’s road maintenance fund form a pothole in the new construction fund.

 

On Dec. 5, McDonnell said he would ask state legislators to approve a measure that would generate $500 million a year for pavement and bridge upkeep. He refused to release any details, but if approved it would break Virginia’s habit of using new construction money to cover maintenance demands.

 

“I don’t think we can wait any longer,” he said.

 

McDonnell also pushed for continued use of public-private partnerships in the wake of a report released by the Southern Environmental Law Center that called for more legislative oversight when it comes to the state’s Public-Private Transportation Act.

 

The hope is to have a plan in place that would generate the $500 million annually by 2018. Since 2002, Virginia has shifted a total of $3.3 billion in new construction funds over to the maintenance coffer. In order to meet the demand to increase capacity $3 billion needs to be generated annually over the next 20 years.

 

However, generating enough support for transportation funding bills has turned difficult in Virginia. According to Jeffrey Southard, executive vice president of the Virginia Transportation Construction Alliance, 11 significant funding issues were introduced in the last session and all of them failed.

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