Monday, June 24, 2019

CTB Approves FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program, Adopts Safety Performance Targets, and Invests in Rail Industrial Access Project

RICHMOND, VA – At its June meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budgets for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), as well as the FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP), which allocated a record $22.9 billion to highway, rail, and public transportation projects over the next six fiscal years beginning July 1, 2019.
“The FY 2020 budgets and program will advance our Commonwealth’s commitment to improving and maintaining infrastructure and building our multimodal platform for Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2025 SYIP provides funding to more than 3,800 transportation projects, including highway, road, bridge, rail, transit, bicycle/pedestrian paths, and other improvements for the Commonwealth’s infrastructure. Projects selected from the third round of SMART SCALE were also included, bringing $859.4 million to 134 highway and public transportation and transportation demand management projects statewide. This SYIP also includes, for the first time, prioritized statewide transit capital grants and performance-based operating assistance allocated under the newly-established program, called Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT).
FY 2020-2025 Six-Year Improvement Program breakdown:
$18.3 billion – Highway Construction (VDOT):
  • $1.5 billion – State of Good Repair
  • $1.3 billion – High Priority Projects
  • $1.3 billion – District Grant Program
  • $271 million – Legacy Construction Formula Programs, which include work funded by a formula that pre-dates SMART SCALE and sunsets this fiscal year.
  • $4 billion – Specialized Programs, which includes $886 million for the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Program and $584 million for interstate improvements throughout the Commonwealth
  • $1.2 billion – Revenue Sharing
  • $1.7 billion – Maintenance
  • $104 million – Research and Planning
  • $6.9 billion – Local and Regional Funding 
$4.6 billion – Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT):
  • $803 million – Rail Initiatives
  • $3.8 billion – Public Transportation
  • $22.9 billion - Total VDOT and DRPT SYIP 
Safety was also a top priority for the CTB, which adopted a resolution to approve calendar year 2020 Safety Performance Targets. These measures and targets related to the performance of the Commonwealth’s surface transportation network were developed by the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment, pursuant to state and federal requirements.
“Safety remains VDOT’s first priority and goal,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich. “As a part of our commitment to reduce highway crash-related fatalities and injuries, we continually review opportunities for infrastructure improvements and assess how safety funding can be optimized and prioritized.”
The CTB also approved a $450,000 Rail Industrial Access Program grant to InterChange Cold Storage, LLC, of Harrisonburg. The grant supports the company’s $41.6 million capital investment at its new 250,000-square-foot facility in Rockbridge County, which is expected to create 88 new jobs, by funding over 40% of the costs to construct a 2,810-foot rail spur. 
With rail service operated by Shenandoah Valley Railroad, InterChange Cold Storage, LLC, will move 35% of its product by rail on 104 rail cars annually, removing 354 trucks a year from Virginia highways.
“The Rail Industrial Access program is an important tool to support Virginia’s efforts to attract jobs that have access to the Commonwealth’s multimodal transportation assets,” said DRPT Director Jennifer Mitchell. “We are proud to partner with InterChange Cold Storage as they continue their successful growth in Rockingham County.”
The approved FY 2020 annual budgets for the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, DRPT, and VDOT are outlined below.
VDOT’s annual budget for FY 2020  
VDOT’s annual budget for FY 2020 is $6.4 billion, representing a 17% increase from the FY 2019 budget. The increase is primarily driven by the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission’s contribution to the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project.
The annual budget is based on the most recent official state revenue forecast from December 2018 and estimated federal funding.
The breakdown:
  • $402.4 million – Debt service
  • $2.2 billion – Road maintenance and operations (includes city and county street payments) 
  • $589.3 million – Support to other agencies, tolls, administration and other programs
  •  $2.7 billion – Construction
  • $485.1 million – Funding dedicated to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads regions for local and regional transportation projects
  •  $6.4 billion – Total VDOT annual budget
DRPT’s annual budget for FY 2020
The annual DRPT budget for FY 2020 is $730.5 million and is based on estimates of actual outlays of federal, state, and local funding.
The breakdown:
  • $590.7 million – Public Transportation Programs
  • $84.8 million – Passenger and Freight Rail Programs
  •  $0.7 million – Rail Industrial Access Programs
  • $10.1 million – Rail Preservation Programs
  • $13.5 million – Commuter Assistance Programs
  • $14.5 million – Agency Operating Budget
  • $3.6 million – Planning, Regulation, and Safety Programs
  • $12.6 million – Human Service Transportation Programs
  • $730.5 million – Total DRPT annual budget
In this month’s meeting, the CTB approved two VDOT contracts totaling $21.7 million.
A $12.6 million contract was awarded to A&J Development and Excavation Inc. of Mt. Crawford, to replace a bridge built in 1965 which carries Route 11 over Interstate 81 in Rockingham County, part of VDOT’s Staunton District. The new bridge will be constructed about 60 feet south of the existing structure. Additional work will include installing signals at the intersection with the I-81 north exit and entrance ramps to improve traffic flow. Completion is expected in spring 2021.
A $9.1 million contract was awarded to Corman Kokosing Construction Company of Annapolis Junction, Md., to rehabilitate a bridge carrying Interstate 195 south over Route 76 (Powhite Parkway) in the City of Richmond. Construction on this Richmond District project will be completed in stages to consistently allow two lanes of moving traffic to minimize disruption to motorists. Completion is expected in late winter 2021.
Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system.
For more information on CTB meeting times and locations:

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Virginia and Transurban Break Ground on “Fred Ex” 10-Mile Extension of Interstate 95 Express Lanes

FREDERICKSBURG—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the start of construction on a 10-mile extension of the I-95 Express Lanes in a vital economic region of Virginia. The Governor was joined by Congressman Rob Wittman, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Commissioner Stephen Brich, and Transurban, Virginia’s partner and operator of the Interstate 95 (I-95) and Interstate 495 (I-495) Express Lanes. The Fredericksburg Extension project, known as “Fred Ex,” will provide new options for faster and more reliable travel along one of the nation’s most congested corridors by extending the dynamically-tolled express lanes from Route 610 to Route 17 near Fredericksburg. 
“Sustaining economic prosperity in our Commonwealth will require a safe, reliable, and modern transportation network that can connect Virginians to opportunity and support positive growth,” said Governor Northam. “Not only will this project reduce congestion and provide important corridor improvements, but as a result of this joint commitment from our public and private sector partners, this project is also estimated to create 9,100 jobs and generate $1.1 billion in economic activity for this fast-growing region.” 
“The first district of Virginia is home to some of the most unique transportation challenges in the country, including one of the worst traffic hotspots in the nation—the I-95 corridor,” said U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman. “Utilizing the express lanes’ public-private-partnership model will improve the quality of life for first district residents, provide new opportunities for small businesses to grow and expand, and help attract new businesses to the area.” 
The project will add two new reversible express lanes along the median, which will be available at no charge to HOV 3+ and transit riders. In addition to extending the I-95 Express Lanes benefits to commuters, Fred Ex will also deliver new connection points, creating faster and easier access for the 28,000 workers at Marine Corps Base Quantico. 
“Through this partnership with Transurban, Fred Ex will provide 66 percent more capacity during peak periods, ensuring Virginia taxpayers—and the flourishing communities along this corridor—are at the forefront of economic opportunity,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine
The project is anticipated to cost approximately $565 million, which will be financed by Transurban without public subsidy. In addition, as part of the project agreement, Transurban will make a $277 million payment to the Commonwealth to advance transportation projects along the I-95 corridor, including the Northbound Rappahannock River Crossing. 
“We are proud to join VDOT in extending the safety and reliability of the 95 Express Lanes to this region,” said Transurban North America President Jennifer Aument. “Whether it is using technology to make a trip faster, building new ramps to reach tomorrow’s commerce centers, or providing a little help to the schools, parks, and non-profits of the I-95 corridor—we look forward to working hand-in-hand with the Commonwealth to deliver the transformational transportation networks that Virginians deserve.” 
A joint venture by Branch Civil and Flatiron was awarded the contract with Transurban to design and build the Fred Ex project. The project comprises 10 miles of new, two-lane, reversible express lanes and approximately 1.5 miles of an additional reversible express lanes within the existing I-95 Express Lanes footprint south of Garrisonville Road. Additionally, Transurban will create new express lanes access points at the Route 17 terminus, near Marine Corps Base Quantico, and a reversible ramp connection at Old Courthouse Road. The project will renovate seven bridge structures, including the replacement of two existing bridges over I-95 at American Legion Road and Truslow Road. The Fred Ex project lanes are scheduled to open in late 2022. 
More information about the project is available at

Monday, June 17, 2019

Truck-Only Safety Rest Area To Temporarily Close On Interstate 95 North In Dale City

DALE CITY, Va. – Beginning Monday, June 10, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will temporarily close the truck-only rest area and northbound weigh station on Interstate 95 in Dale City (located at mile marker 154) for critical maintenance on the weigh-in-motion sensors. Truckers wishing to stop on I-95 north are encouraged to use the Ladysmith Safety Rest Area, located at mile marker 108 in Caroline County. The southbound weigh station will remain open. 
DMV owns and maintains the sensors and will be completing the project at the location, also known as the Dumfries Motor Carrier Service Center. The northbound safety rest area and weigh station are expected to reopen by the end of June 2019. 
Anyone with questions about the project can call VDOT’s customer service center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623). For more information about VDOT Safety Rest Areas, visit