Unlike most states, Virginia is taking the plunge following a deep recession. Gov. Bob McDonnell announced on April 20 that highway and transit spending will increase by $2.6 billion over the next six years. The funding boost follows a series of cuts for the state that totaled $4 billion, and it is the largest in over a decade.
To help pay for the additional investment, McDonnell plans on borrowing more and encouraging public-private partnerships.
“It’s money right away,” he said. “It’s not a trickle of tax money.”
The move, which now sets Virginia’s six-year transportation plan at $11.2 billion, is expected to produce 100,000 jobs and generate over $13 billion in economic activity. McDonnell proposes to spend a little over $8 billion for highway improvements—a 42% increase—with the remaining going to rail and public-transit projects. A total of 900 projects are expected to be included in the plan.