Wednesday, December 11, 2019

VDOT Names New Bristol District Administrator

Donny NecessaryRICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Deputy Commissioner Robert H. Cary, P.E., L.S., announced today that Donny Necessary, Jr. has been selected as the agency’s new Bristol District administrator. Necessary brings over 33 years of transportation expertise to the position, including service as Bristol’s acting district administrator for the past six months.
“Donny’s years of sound program leadership, vast planning experience and invaluable regional partnerships provide a strong foundation for continued success in the Bristol District,” said Chief Deputy Commissioner Cary.
Necessary will be responsible for the construction, maintenance and operations of nearly 16,000 lane miles of roads in the Bristol District’s 12 counties: Bland, Buchanan, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe.
He joined VDOT in 1986 as a highway engineering technician, and has also served as an assistant district traffic engineer, a transportation operations analysis and enhancement engineer, and, since 2010, served as the Bristol District planner.
As the lead planner for the district, Necessary managed Bristol’s project prioritization program, SMART SCALE, and built vital local and regional partnerships through collaboration with planning district commissions and metropolitan planning organizations. His steady leadership and expertise has been integral to providing smooth short- and long-range planning processes.
Necessary holds an associate’s degree in design drafting from Virginia Highlands Community College and a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from East Tennessee State University.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Enrollment Opens For Toll Relief Program

RICHMOND - Since its inception in 2017, a program designed to help ease the financial burden of tolls has distributed approximately $1.3 million in toll relief to qualified Norfolk and Portsmouth residents who travel regularly through the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today announced that enrollment for the 2020 Toll Relief Program will be held from Dec. 2, 2019, to Feb. 15, 2020, for toll relief benefits that begin March 1, 2020. Applicants must bring proof of income and residency in person to the E-ZPass Customer Service Center in either Norfolk or Portsmouth.

To qualify for Toll Relief, participants must:
  • Reside in Norfolk or Portsmouth
  • One of the following is required for proof of residency:
    • Driver’s license
    • Utility, telephone or cable bill
    • Checking or savings account statement
    • Property tax bill
    • Mortgage or proof of home ownership
    • Rental contract
    • Military documentation confirming residency

  • Earn $30,000 or less per year
  • One of the following is required for proof of income:
    • • W-2
    • 1099-MISC
    • One month of pay stubs
    • IRS 1040
    • Employer’s statement
    • Self-declaration of no income
    • Have or open a Virginia E-ZPass account

Once a participant’s Virginia E-ZPass designated transponder records eight or more trips through the Downtown or Midtown tunnels during a calendar month, a 75-cent refund is credited to his or her Virginia E-ZPass account for each trip. There is no limit on the number of discounted trips in a calendar month. Current participants must re-enroll to receive 2020 Toll Relief Program benefits.
Elizabeth River Crossings, operators of the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, is providing the Commonwealth $500,000 a year for 10 years to help offset the cost of tolls on those users most financially stressed. The 2020 Toll Relief Program marks the fourth year.
For more information on Toll Relief, visit or call 855-530-5506.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Governor Northam Celebrates Opening of I-395 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that the new Interstate 395 Express Lanes will open on Sunday, November 17. The project extends the Express Lanes by eight miles for seamless connectivity between Fairfax County and Washington, D.C. The expansion gives drivers new options for faster and more predictable travel along one of the region’s most congested corridors and will save drivers an estimated 30 minutes during morning rush hour.
The opening comes just five days after Governor Northam joined Maryland’s Governor to announce the “Capital Beltway Accord,” which will finally replace the aging American Legion Bridge, after years of delay.
“This corridor is the economic backbone of Virginia, and this project will significantly reduce congestion in it,” said Governor Northam. “Sitting in traffic hurts our economy, and it keeps people away from the ones they love. This is about giving commuters new options to get to work and back home faster. This is good for everyone who commutes in Northern Virginia.”
The $475 million project broke ground in August 2017 and is being delivered on time and on budget. It is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Transurban, the current operators of the 95 and 495 Express Lanes. Construction of the project was led by Lane Construction. 
“This is the latest example of Virginia’s commitment to provide transportation solutions that work for everyone,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “We have forged partnerships and designed projects that can deliver options for commuters. Virginia carpoolers and buses get the free-flowing travel they deserve, a single commuter can choose to pay for a more reliable trip, and the communities along the 395 Corridor will see consistent, year-over-year investment in transit paid for by toll revenue.”
Transurban has also committed $15 million annually to fund transit improvements across the corridor over the term of the operating contract, with the first payment to be made before tolling begins. Expenditure of these funds will be administered through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) Commuter Choice Program.
“NVTC, through its Commuter Choice program, will be good stewards of the annual transit payment from Transurban and the I-395 Express Lanes, selecting the best transit projects to move people efficiently and reliably through the corridor now and in the future,” said Kate Mattice, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission Executive Director.
Benefits of the 395 Express Lanes project include:
  • Funding $15 million per year from toll revenues for transit investments along the 95/395 corridor;
  • Adding another lane to give drivers three free-flowing, reversible lanes that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;
  • Providing a new travel choice for Express Lane customers and easing congestion on the adjacent free lanes;
  • Delivering a new bus and a new “slugger” commuter lane at the Pentagon’s South Parking lot to enhance traffic flow, which opened in June 2019;
  • Improving access to the Pentagon and Crystal City through interchange improvements at Eads Street;
  • Rehabilitating 14 bridges in the 395 corridor; and
  • Widening southbound 395 with a new regular lane between Duke Street and Edsall Road, to be completed in summer 2020.
“Transurban is proud of the historic collaboration that came together to deliver the 395 Express Lanes,” said Jennifer Aument, President of Transurban North America. “This project would not have been possible without the enduring vision of the Commonwealth and the countless advocates and stakeholders across Northern Virginia. We’ve joined forces to provide the region with a dynamic, integrated network of travel choices that will ensure Virginia is on the move and we are working minute-to-minute to ensure a safe and seamless trip for our new customers on the 395 Express Lanes.”
Once the 395 Express Lanes are open for customers, construction will continue to finish drainage improvements north of Eads Street, rehabilitate bridges at Seminary Road and Shirlington Circle, continue construction of the Duke Street to Edsall Road widening, and complete sound wall construction. Construction impacts will include lane closures during weekends and non-peak travel times.
The 395 Express Lanes will operate similarly as the 95 and 495 Express Lanes and join an expanding network that will include an additional 10 miles of Express Lanes now under construction on 95 to Fredericksburg. With ongoing construction in the corridor and new traffic patterns resulting from completed work, project partners remind drivers to be safe, put phones down, and learn about changes that may impact travel while acclimating to the improved corridor.
For more information, click here or visit

Monday, November 11, 2019

VDOT is Ready for Winter

RICHMOND, Va. – While most in Virginia were enjoying extended summer weather, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has been making plans for snow. Staffing, equipment and materials are in place and ready to go once winter makes an entrance.
Snow by the numbers“Our top priority is to keep motorists safe,” said VDOT Chief of Maintenance and Operations Kevin Gregg. “The Commonwealth has a complex network of roads and bridges, and we prepare year-round to keep Virginia moving when winter weather arrives. Our crews are trained, experienced and equipped to get the job done when those first flakes fall.”
Readiness Resources On-Deck for Winter:
  • $205 million set aside for winter weather
  • More than 2,500 VDOT crew members and additional contractors available for snow removal statewide
  • More than 12,100 pieces of snow-removal equipment, including trucks, loaders and motor graders
  • Nearly 700,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and more than 2.4 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine
VDOT Plows: Online Snowplow Tracker
Across the state, if snow reaches two inches or more, VDOT activates an online snowplow tracking map. VDOT trucks are equipped with automatic vehicle location technology and can be monitored on the tracker during snow-removal operations.
When Snowflakes Fall: Be Prepared
During winter, it is important to regularly monitor weather forecasts and have a winter weather driving plan ahead of time. When inclement weather arrives, motorists are encouraged to visit or call 511 for up-to-date information on road and traffic conditions before travel.
For More Information

Monday, October 28, 2019

VDOT Wins National Roadway Safety Awards

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was recently honored with two National Roadway Safety Awards, recognizing the agency’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and Strategic Guardrail Management Program. Both efforts are focused on using research and technology to implement measurable improvements at identified safety challenges.
safety award winnersThe Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is a statewide strategy that identifies high-risk areas for pedestrian safety, then develops funding solutions and installs safety improvements at those locations based on the severity and extent of the risk areas. The program’s interactive web-based tool is a national model for analysis to identify project needs for pedestrian safety improvements.
The Strategic Guardrail Management Program is improving roadway safety and maintenance efficiencies of the state’s guardrail system by prioritizing improvements at high-risk locations using data, technology and business-process enhancements. The VDOT Guardrail Tracker Tool enables information input and performance monitoring via a single, agency-wide, cloud-based GIS platform.
“Both of these VDOT programs are implementing data-driven solutions to make our roads safer for everyone,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “We are building efficiencies and expanding data through these tools, but more importantly, we are directly implementing enhanced safety improvements across the state. Our team’s solutions are keeping Virginia families, friends, co-workers and neighbors safer whether they are traveling by foot or by car.”
The National Roadway Safety Award projects were evaluated on three criteria: effectiveness, innovation and efficient use of resources. “Safety is always our top priority and these tools are addressing key safety challenges,” said VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Rob Cary. “Our teams are developing innovative, datacentric solutions to address safety and build efficiencies, and I am proud to see them honored for the difference they are making on Virginia roadways.”
The National Roadway Safety Awards program is sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation. The biennial awards program recognizes roadway safety initiatives that work toward the goal of zero highway deaths and reduce seriousinjury crashes. In total, seven projects across the country were recognized with awards.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CTB Advances 31 Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program Projects

RICHMOND, Va. – At its October meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the addition of 31 projects to the Fiscal Year 2020-25 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) to support prioritized projects and initiatives in the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program. On Tuesday, October 1, the Interstate 81 Advisory Committee endorsed advancement of the first tier of projects in the program identified by using data-driven factors, including project cost, benefits and readiness for construction. With the advisory committee’s endorsement, the CTB took action to add this initial group of projects. “With new revenues available as a result of legislation passed in April of this year, the CTB is committed to advancing and delivering these critical projects to those who depend on Interstate 81,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Today’s action moves forward the first of a suite of improvements expected to reduce the number of crashes along this corridor by 450 hours of delay by more than 6 million hours each year.”
The CTB also voted to approve $18.9 million to support the I-395/I-95 Commuter Choice Program, a group of 10 multimodal projects selected and approved by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC). The funds will be directed to new and enhanced bus services, transit incentives and other commuter choice program initiatives. The program is administered in partnership with the NVTC, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), the PRTC, and Transurban.
“The Commuter Choice program illustrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to creating safe, reliable travel choices across Virginia’s transportation system,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Multimodal investments along this corridor support the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness and creates a more seamless network for people to access jobs, education, healthcare, and opportunity.”
The board also awarded one contract in the amount of $5.7 million to Corman Kokosing Construction Company of Annapolis Junction, Md., to replace a bridge carrying Route 207 south over the Mattaponi River in Caroline County. The roadway, which is part of the National Highway System, is a vital connector route for freight and commercial traffic between Interstate 95 and Route 301 near Fort A.P. Hill in the Fredericksburg District. Completion is expected in summer 2021.
The board recognizes and commends recent awards won by transportation agencies serving the Commonwealth. On Tuesday, October 8, VDOT was recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) with the 2019 President’s Transportation Award for Performance Excellence for the agency’s Data and Technology Driven Strategic Guardrail Management Program. On Tuesday, October 15, Blacksburg Transit was the recipient of the American Public Transportation Association’s 2019 outstanding Transit System award for North America in New York.
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies for Virginia’s transportation system. The CTB allocates highway funding to specific projects, locates routes and provides funding for airports, seaports and public transportation.
For more information:

VDOT: Ferry Powhatan Dedication

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Farmer is VDOT's Chief Financial Officer

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Deputy Commissioner Robert H. Cary, P.E., L.S., announced today that Laura Farmer has been named the agency’s new chief financial officer, following an extensive search and competitive recruitment process.
“Laura has served the Commonwealth’s financial and budgetary needs for nearly twenty years,” said Chief Deputy Commissioner Cary. “Her strong leadership, unique expertise in the transportation industry and vast institutional knowledge will serve VDOT well as we navigate new financial opportunities in the future. She has been an integral part of VDOT’s fiscal leadership team in driving resources toward valuable and beneficial transportation solutions.”
Laura Farmer, VDOT’s new chief financial officer
Farmer will be responsible for a $6.4 billion annual budget and nearly 150 team members serving VDOT’s financial planning, capital investment, fiscal management and tolling programs. As the agency’s director of financial planning since 2011, she has proved instrumental in establishing Virginia’s Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) program, as well as providing for the financial arrangements around the agency’s innovative finance programs and public-private partnership projects, including the Elizabeth River Tunnels projects and I-95 Express Lanes. Prior to joining VDOT, she served as a budget analyst for health and human resources agencies at the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget.
“I look forward to ensuring VDOT’s continued sound financial management,” said Farmer. “I’m committed to building strategic direction to advance efficiencies statewide, which will effectively deliver our projects and services to Virginia residents and travelers.”
Farmer earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Chowan University and a master’s degree in public policy from the College of William and Mary. She has also completed the Virginia Executive Institute and Commonwealth Management Institute programs and is a graduate of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association Leadership Academy.
Farmer assumed the new role on October 10, 2019 following John Lawson’s appointment as deputy secretary of transportation. She has been filling the role in an acting capacity since April.

Monday, October 14, 2019

CTB Invites Public Feedback On Transportation Programs Throughout Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) invites the public to share feedback on transportation initiatives at nine meetings across Virginia this fall. Representatives from the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) will highlight transportation programs, discuss ideas and answer questions about the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation network.
Participation is welcome by attending public meetings or submitting comments online, by email, or by mail.
The public will have an opportunity to learn and share feedback about:
  • Adjustments to the statewide project prioritization process, known as SMART SCALE, which allocates limited funding to the most critical transportation needs.
  • Virginia’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, which identifies transportation projects that will utilize federal transportation funding or require approval from federal partners.
  • A draft Mid-term Transportation Needs assessment for VTrans, Virginia’s statewide, multimodal transportation plan that outlines a vision and goals for transportation in the Commonwealth. The plan will identify transportation investment priorities and guides transportation agencies’ strategies and programs.
  • Adjustments to Virginia’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, which aims to link infrastructure improvements across highway travel modes to performance outcomes outlined in Virginia’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
The public meetings will begin at 4 p.m. in each of the locations except as noted below: 
 Tuesday, October 15, 2019*
Richmond District
Richmond Marriott Short Pump 4240 Dominion Boulevard
Glen Allen, VA  23060
*This meeting will also provide opportunity for comment on the I-95 Corridor Study Plan
Tuesday, October 22, 2019**
Northern Virginia District
Northern Virginia District Office
Potomac Conference Room
4975 Alliance Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
**meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Monday, October 28, 2019***
Staunton District
Doubletree Hotel Harrisonburg
1400 E. Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
***meeting begins at 3 p.m.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Salem District
Holiday Inn Valley View
3315 Ordway Drive
Roanoke, VA 24017
Monday, November 4, 2019
Lynchburg District
Lynchburg District Complex
Ramey Memorial Auditorium
4303 Campbell Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Hampton Roads District
Hampton Roads District Office 7511 Burbage Drive
Suffolk, VA 23435
Thursday, November 7, 2019
Bristol District
Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210
Tuesday, November 12, 2019**
Fredericksburg District
James Monroe High School
2300 Washington Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
**meeting begins at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Culpeper District
VDOT Culpeper District Office
1601 Orange Road
Culpeper, VA 22701
Meeting materials will be available at beginning October 15, 2019.
Online sources
 The public can submit comments on transportation projects and initiatives to the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI), OIPI Deputy Director Ronique Day, 1221 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219 or PublicComments@OIPI.Virginia.govComments will be accepted until November 30, 2019.
For additional information about the CTB, visit

Friday, October 11, 2019

VDOT Announces New Richmond District Engineer

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Deputy Commissioner Robert Cary, P.E., L.S., announced today that Shane Mann, P.E., has been selected as the agency’s new Richmond District engineer. Mann brings over 25 years of transportation experience to the position 
“Shane’s years of successful program leadership, technical expertise and Richmond District knowledge make him well-suited to address the unique travel needs and challenges in the Commonwealth’s capital,” said Chief Deputy Commissioner Cary.
Mann will be responsible for the construction, maintenance and operations of nearly 19,000 lane miles of roads in the Richmond District’s 14 counties: Amelia, Brunswick, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico (except secondary system), Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, New Kent, Nottoway, Powhatan and Prince George. The Richmond District is VDOT’s largest roadway network in the Commonwealth.
“From overseeing successful completion of major construction projects to monitoring overnight snow removal operations, I have thoroughly enjoyed serving in the Richmond District, and am looking forward to stewardship of its future success,” said Mann.
As Richmond District construction engineer, Mann managed a construction program of over $350 million and oversaw successful completion of major district projects, including the I-95 Temple Avenue interchange improvements and roundabout project in the City of Colonial Heights, the I-64 widening project in Henrico and New Kent counties, and five phases of the Virginia Capital Trail in the City of Richmond, Henrico and Charles City counties.
A licensed professional engineer in several states, Mann holds an associate’s degree in drafting and design from Southside Virginia Community College, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia.
Mann will assume the new role on October 1, 2019 following Bart Thrasher’s selection as VDOT chief engineer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I-395 Express Lanes Open This Fall

Coming to you this November, the 395 Express Lanes will offer the same quick, simple and predictable travel you’ve come to know from the 495 and 95 Express Lanes. They’ll pick up where the 95 Express Lanes leave off around Edsall Road and run up to the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. A new choice for your everyday travels is coming soon.

Read more about the new express lanes here!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Public Feedback Invited On Interstate 95 Corridor Improvement Study

RICHMOND, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, under the leadership of the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), are studying Virginia’s 179 miles of the Interstate 95 corridor between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria, Virginia and the North Carolina border. The public is invited to attend the second set in a series of in-person meetings through late fall 2019. An online engagement tool will be available for those interested to learn more details and provide input throughout the study’s duration.
As requested in similar resolutions from both chambers of the legislature (Senate Joint Resolution 276 and House Joint Resolution 581) during the 2019 General Assembly session, the CTB has initiated a data-driven study to develop the I-95 Corridor Plan which will identify key problem areas along the corridor, and identify potential targeted solutions and areas for additional review and study.
Feedback provided by members of communities, industries, and other stakeholders will be considered as team members continue study of the corridor and prepare a draft plan report in the fall. The CTB plans to report to the General Assembly in January 2020, prior to the opening of General Assembly session. 
This second series of meetings will be focused on reviewing potential targeted safety and congestion solutions along the I-95 corridor.
The meetings will begin with a brief presentation followed by an open house format, which will allow attendees to speak one-on-one with study team members, ask questions and provide written comments.
The study team has also developed an online engagement tool as an option for corridor users who may not be able to attend the meetings. The tool will ask users to provide input on various types of improvement solutions and priorities.
The team will hold one more series of meetings along the corridor with additional opportunities for public comments to be received in person and online. The second series of meetings will focus on targeted solutions and the final series will cover recommended packages of improvements.
Public meetings will be held at the below-listed dates and times at the noted locations.
Wednesday, October 9, 2019
James Monroe High School  2300 Washington Ave. Fredericksburg, VA 22401
6–8 p.m.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019*
Richmond Marriott –
Short Pump
4240 Dominion Blvd.
Glen Allen, VA 23060
4-7 p.m.
*This meeting is combined with regularly-scheduled Fall Transportation Meetings.
Thursday, October 17, 2019**
Northern Virginia
Freedom High School
15201 Neabsco Mills Rd.
Woodbridge, VA 22191
6–8 p.m.
**This meeting will include information about the auxiliary lane project on southbound I-95 between Route 123 and Prince William Parkway.
The Northern Virginia meeting will also include information and opportunity for input on the auxiliary lane project on southbound I-95 between Route 123 and Prince William Parkway. The Richmond meeting will be combined with the region’s regularly-scheduled Fall Transportation Meeting.
Comments can be submitted at the meetings or via email to: The online engagement tool, as well as other meeting materials, will be available on the project website beginning October 7, 2019.
The first comment period will end October 25, 2019. Additional comment opportunities will be available throughout the study period.
For more information about the study, or to view meeting materials and access the online engagement tool, visit 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

International Walk to School Day

What is International Walk to School Day (iWalk)? International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day to raise awareness of the benefits of walking and biking and need for Safe Routes to School. It began in 1997 as a one-day event, and has become the signature fall event for the year-round Safe Routes to School movement. Today, thousands of schools across America – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam – participate in a variety of ways every October.
When is International Walk to School Day? Walk to School Day is held annually on the Wednesday of the first full week in October. The dates for the coming years are:
  • Walk to School Day 2018 – October 10
  • Walk to School Day 2019 – October 2
Remember that all of October is Walk to School Month, and schools are encouraged to host events whenever is most convenient for them.
Why should my school participate in Walk to School Day? Participating in iWalk and hosting an event is the perfect way to encourage walking to school, teach safe pedestrian skills, and kick off a Safe Routes to School program for the school year. Most importantly, it’s fun for everyone! Be sure to check out the iWalk resources below to help plan your school’s iWalk event.
What if students can’t walk to school? Even if students live too far or are unable to walk all the way to school, they can meet up with their classmates at a designated spot nearby and walk from there. Or the school can host a Walk at School event, where all students are invited to walk around the school grounds before class begins, during recess or enrichment classes.

iWalk in Virginia

The popularity of iWalk continues to increase each year thanks to dedicated school staff, community partners, parents and volunteers who help plan and host events at their schools.
In 2018, Virginia schools hosted a total of 364 events, breaking the previous record for the 9th year in a row!
WTSD Events 2010-2018

Tuckahoe Elementary, Arlington
Waterman Elementary, Harrisonburg
Ginter Park Elementary, Richmond

VDOT Walk to School Day Resources

Learn it. Do it. Live it!

Event IdeasFirst Time Tips For Planning a SRTS EventHow to Plan a Walk or Bike to School Event in 7 Days
Conduct a Walk or Bike AuditHow to Organize Park and Walk Sites 

Event Flyers

 Call for VolunteersEvent FlyerBlank Flyer
PDF - color
PDF - color
PDF - color

Communication Tools

 For Students & ParentsFor the Press
Announcement ScriptPress release template and instructionsMedia Advisory template


 StickersPunch cardsYou Did It! Certificates
Walk with me to school tomorrow!I walked to school today!
Black & White

Coloring Book

National Center for SRTS Resources                 

Visit for more advice and customizable resources.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Interstate 81 Advisory Committee Meeting

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. – The Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) are inviting members of the public to attend the second meeting of the Interstate 81 (I-81) Advisory Committee next week.
The advisory committee meeting will be held Tuesday, October 1, at 3 p.m. at the Natural Bridge Conference Center, located at 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.
The I-81 Advisory Committee is charged with providing advice and making recommendations to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) regarding the development of the I-81 Corridor Improvement program and updates to the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, as directed in 2019 Acts of Assembly Chapter 846. The plan was approved by the CTB in December 2018, following a comprehensive study of the corridor. The I-81 Advisory Committee will meet four times a year and report to the Governor and General Assembly each December.
The committee has 15 voting members: seven Virginia lawmakers, three CTB members representing the Bristol, Salem and Staunton districts and the five chairs of the planning district commissions. VDOT’s commissioner and DRPT’s director will serve on the committee ex officio in nonvoting capacities.
Legislation passed in the 2019 General Assembly established the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program, Fund and Committee. The legislation also provides revenues for the Fund through the creation of a new registration fee and diesel, regional and road taxes. Governor Ralph Northam announced amendments in March, providing dedicated annual funding to the corridor, estimated initially as $103 million in fiscal year 2020 and growing to an estimated $163 million in fiscal year 2025. These funds will support a $2 billion improvement program.
Any questions or comments about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan can be directed to  The meeting agenda is available for viewing.
For more information about the I-81 Corridor Improvement Plan, visit For additional information about the CTB, visit

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

VDOT Announces New I-81 Program Delivery Director

Following the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan and new dedicated funding as a result of 2019 legislation, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Chief Engineer, Bart Thrasher, P.E., announced today that Dave Covington, P.E., will lead VDOT’s implementation of projects and initiatives identified in the plan. As the new Interstate 81 program delivery director, Covington will oversee corridor-long strategy and program-level consistency as projects and initiatives from the plan are developed, constructed and prioritized by the I-81 Advisory Committee.  
“As we found in the study, I-81 is a critical driver of economic vitality in Virginia, serving 11.7 million trucks and transporting $312 billion in goods each year,” said Thrasher. “Having a strong leader at the helm of project implementation across district lines will ensure success of our goals to improve safety and reliability along Virginia’s 325 miles of the corridor.” 
Covington has over 20 years of experience in the transportation industry, with diverse, yet vast expertise in design, maintenance and construction. Most recently, he has served as the Staunton District maintenance engineer. 
In design and construction, he has managed complex design-bid-build projects and large-scale design-build contracts, both with private engineering consultants to VDOT and as an employee of VDOT. Recently, he led VDOT’s $250 million Route 29 Solutions program in Charlottesville. Throughout the development and delivery of these major infrastructure projects, Covington utilized sound risk-management principles to ensure that projects were delivered safely, completed ahead of schedule and under budget, and that Virginia residents and taxpayers received good value for their investments. Covington will be charged with employing the same principles in managing implementation of the $2.2 billion package identified to improve the I-81 corridor. 
Covington is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He will assume the new role on September 25, 2019.

Monday, September 23, 2019

VDOT and DMV Notify Customers with Clean Special Fuel License Plates of Changes to High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane Use

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are sending letters to over 16,000 Virginians with registered vehicles bearing clean special fuel license plates to notify them of two upcoming changes that will affect high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access privileges. 

Effective September 30, based on a federal law which applies nationwide, most hybrid vehicles will no longer be able to use HOV lanes without the required number of occupants. Only hybrid plug-in electric vehicles will continue to be allowed access to HOV lanes without the requisite number of occupants. The rule applies even if the vehicle displays a clean special fuel license plate. Other alternative fuel vehicles with clean special fuel plates will continue to have HOV access. 

This fall, VDOT will be converting HOV lanes on Interstate 395 in northern Virginia to Express Lanes. The date that the lanes will be converted to Express Lanes will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Once the I-395 HOV lanes are converted to Express Lanes, all vehicles (except motorcycles and buses) will be required to have a properly mounted E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex. Vehicles bearing clean special fuel license plates, like other vehicles, can access the Express Lanes with a standard E-ZPass or, if they meet the HOV-3+ requirement by having three or more occupants in the vehicle, can travel toll free with an EZPass Flex in the HOV mode. 

E-ZPass and E-ZPass Flex transponders are available online at and at many DMV customer service centers, including all 14 offices in northern Virginia. In addition, E-ZPass On-the-Go may be obtained at DMV 2 Go mobile customer service centers. For locations, visit 

For full service E-ZPass account management, the Woodbridge DMV Customer Service Center offers EZPass account set-up, account replenishment, violation processing and transponder return and replacement. Transponders can also be obtained at many retailers (Giant, Wegmans, etc.), online or by calling toll-free 877-762-7824. For more information, visit 

To learn more about the 395 Express Lanes project, please visit If you have questions about the 495, 95 and 395 Express Lanes, call the Express Lanes customer service team at 855-495-9777.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Expect Major I-95 North Delays at Fredericksburg on Saturday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 22

Northbound travelers on Interstate 95 will encounter major travel delays in the Fredericksburg area beginning in late afternoon on Saturday, September 21 through the morning of Sunday, September 22.
Lane closures are needed for 18 consecutive hours of paving, lane striping and preparation to finish building the transition point for drivers to enter three temporary travel lanes for I-95 northbound in the median.
I-95 motorists are strongly encouraged to choose an alternate route to avoid delays, especially through travelers with destinations outside the Fredericksburg area.
What’s Being Done
Construction crews need to replace the existing I-95 northbound overpass of Route 17 at Exit 133 in Stafford County over the next 12 months. Two existing Route 17 overpass bridges – northbound and southbound  – are being replaced as part of the I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing project.
To build the new overpass, all I-95 northbound traffic will be diverted to travel in temporary lanes in the median, parallel to the interstate.
The weekend work zone during Sept. 21-22 is the final step before the temporary lanes open. When lanes reopen at 10 a.m. Sunday, northbound I-95 traffic will begin traveling in the temporary lanes.
Over 18 hours, crews will put down around 2,000 tons of asphalt and 20,000 feet of lane markings, and place around 5,000 feet of concrete barriers.
What Drivers Can Expect
Beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, I-95 northbound will be reduced to two lanes near the Rappahannock River bridge, which is located between the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County.
I-95 northbound will be reduced to a single lane at 5 p.m. Saturday. The northbound exit ramp and entrance ramp at Exit 133, also known as a collector-distributor lane, will remain open. It will serve as a second northbound travel lane.
From 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, all I-95 northbound traffic will be diverted onto the collector-distributor lane.
Between 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, northbound I-95 traffic can exit to Route 17, but Route 17 traffic cannot use the entrance ramps to access I-95 northbound. Detour signs for local traffic on Route 17 will be directed to use Route 1 northbound and Exit 136 (Centreport Parkway) to access I-95 northbound.
I-95 southbound will remain open in the Fredericksburg area during the Sept. 21-22 weekend work zone. Additionally, all I-95 southbound ramps at Exit 133 at Route 17 will remain open.
This work zone has been scheduled weather permitting. If the work zone is cancelled, it will be rescheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 through 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.
Weekend Work Zone
Performing this work in a single 18-hour period, during mostly overnight hours, will avoid disrupting travelers over multiple weeks of evening work.
These hours were identified using traffic analysis as the least disruptive time for work to be scheduled. Accomplishing the work over the weekend avoids delays to weekday commuter and commercial traffic.
To encourage travelers to use an alternate route, VDOT will:
  • Lift lane closures on Route 1 northbound in the Fredericksburg area during the work zone, and along Route 207 northbound in Caroline County and Route 301 northbound in Caroline and King George counties
  • Adjust signal timing on these alternate routes to meet additional demand
  • Use overhead message boards along the I-64, I-95, and I-295 corridors in Virginia to make motorists aware of lane closures ahead at Fredericksburg, and encourage travelers to use Exit 104 (Carmel Church) on I-95 to travel along Route 207 and Route 301
Stay Updated
Real-time updates on this work zone, lane closures and congestion will be available on 511Virginia.
Download the free mobile 511Virginia app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.
Follow VDOT Fredericksburg District on Twitter at @VaDOTFRED.
Project Background
Construction to build the $132 million I-95 Southbound Rappahannock River Crossing began in August 2018 and will be underway through May 2022.
The project seeks to reduce I-95 congestion in the Fredericksburg area by providing local traffic with additional lanes to travel between the Route 17 and Route 3 interchanges without merging into the interstate’s general purpose lanes.
The Rappahannock River Crossing project will build three new general purpose lanes for I-95 southbound stretching six miles in the current median of I-95. The new lanes will begin in the vicinity of Truslow Road, just north of Exit 133 at Route 17 in Stafford. The new lanes will end 1.2 miles south of Exit 130 at Route 3 in Fredericksburg, in Spotsylvania County.
The three existing I-95 southbound lanes will be converted to carry those traveling to the Route 17 and Route 3 interchanges, as well as the Safety Rest Area and Virginia Welcome Center.
For additional information, please visit the project page on the Improve 95 website at