VDOT's smart road has a problem

News Richmond Times-Dispatch December 29, 2004
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The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is being partially blamed for a three-year delay and $25 million cost overrun

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is being partially blamed for a three-year delay and $25 million cost overrun for the smart highway network along Hampton Roads interstates.


According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the report also cites instances where project managers paid more for services than they were worth and accepted outdated equipment without first testing to see if it worked.


VDOT finished the second leg of the Hampton Roads network in March, bringing the total of cameras to 118 and the total of variable-message signs to 151 along 50 miles of interstate. The final phase currently under way involves the addition of 170 cameras and 93 signs along 63 more miles of highway.


The estimated cost of the project has risen to $128.7 million. However, FHWA, which is the primary funder, has held up about $18 million in reimbursements to VDOT for the third phase scheduled to be complete in 2006.


VDOT officials are hoping to convince FHWA that they have taken enough steps to warrant release of the withheld funds. If they fail to do so, VDOT may have to absorb the cost.


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