WJTV News Channel 12 - Virginia Transportation Bill: How Your Money is Being Spent

Virginia Transportation Bill: How Your Money is Being Spent

Posted: Updated:
ROANOKE -

The sight and sound of an Amtrak train rolling through Roanoke has alluded Senator John Edwards for the last 18 years.

But soon that train will be a reality.

"This new transportation package is tremendous," said Edwards, (D) 21st District.

That transportation package includes money to bring passenger rail service back to Roanoke for the first time since the 1970's.

While Amtrak is stealing all the headlines in Southwest Virginia, the bill is also pouring much needed money into the Commonwealth's roads and highways.

"There's plenty of money to help our roads, to build our roads, to maintain our roads," Edwards said. "This is something that we've been working on and I've been working on for a long, long time."

That money is giving agencies like the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) flexibility, something they've lacked for decades.

"We haven't been adding a lot of new projects for development into our program because we just haven't had the dollars," said VDOT Spokesperson Jason Bond.

VDOT is hopeful that problem will soon be in the rearview mirror.

The governor's office is projecting the new bill will raise nearly $6 billion over the next five years.

The money is set aside for a combination of new road construction, road maintenance, and the expansion of passenger rail service.

That's good news for VDOT, although Bond said where the money will go is still a wildcard.

"We don't know what projects will get added to the program, we don't know what projects may get accelerated that are already in the program," he said. "It's difficult to know specific impacts for the future of what the new funds will mean for our area yet."

The new money won't affect projects already on the agenda in 2013 like the Elm Avenue and Valley View interchanges.

Both projects are slated to begin within the next few months.

That means paving and road maintenance is where you'll notice the money being spent initially.

While it's too early to say which roads will be fixed, potholes are high on VDOT's priority list.

"The condition of our pavement is aging," Bond said. "We haven't been able to get out there and pave as much. So Virginians will probably see that at least in the immediate future because of this new money. We'll see some additional paving particularly this summer."

As for long term projects VDOT will be releasing a six year planning draft in a few weeks detailing major construction that can now become a reality thank to the transportation bill.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:16:28 GMT
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.