SALEM – The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on Wednesday approved a draft Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) which outlines the CTB’s plan to distribute the anticipated funds for public transit, rail and interstate and primary highway construction projects for the fiscal years 2014-2019.
The $15.4 billion draft program includes almost $4 billion in additional statewide transportation funding to be invested in the Commonwealth’s transportation network as identified by HB 2313, the state's first comprehensive transportation funding plan approved in 27 years and signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell.
The portion of the SYIP for the Salem District includes $533 million for transportation funding to be allocated for project development and construction over the next six years. This is an increase of more than 20 percent from last year’s $431 million program for Salem District.
Two major projects currently under development continue to receive funding in the draft program. Funding is included for the $46.8 million I-81 exit 150 improvement project in Botetourt County and the $46.7 million Route 460 Southgate interchange project in Blacksburg. Both projects are expected to be advertised for construction bids in FY 2015.
A key component of the draft SYIP is the rehabilitation of the transportation system with the new revenues supporting VDOT’s efforts to extend the life of pavement and replace bridges. For the Salem District, the draft SYIP identifies funding to continue preliminary engineering to develop plans to replace more than 50 bridges.
The major new highlights of the draft SYIP for Salem District include the following:
· An additional $47.1 million for paving and pavement rehabilitation projects for interstate and primary roads was included in the program to be spent over the next six years.
· An additional $47 million was included to eliminate the shortfall in funding to replace the northbound I-81 bridge over the New River. The $78.1 million project now is fully funded and expected to be advertised for construction bids in FY 2018.
· An additional $6.5 million was identified to install a variable speed limit system on I-77 between mile markers 0 and 12 in Carroll County. The project is expected to be advertised for work to start in FY 2014.
· An additional $2.8 million was included to cover cost increases on the Route 603 Ironto/Elliston Connector project in Montgomery County. This $19.7 million project is expected to be advertised for construction bids in FY 2014.
· An additional $8.9 million to pave unpaved secondary roads with traffic volumes of more than 200 vehicles per day was included in the plan to be spent over the next six years.
· An additional $11.3 million was included in the SYIP for counties to prioritize as part of secondary road improvements. These funds are identified in the program in FY 2017-2019.
The public has the opportunity to review the draft program and provide input, which will be taken into the consideration by the CTB before the final program is adopted in June. The FY 2014-2019 program will go into effect July 1, 2013.
The CTB will hold public hearings across the state to solicit public comments about rail, transit, transportation demand management, bicycle, pedestrian and highway projects in the draft SYIP.
The public hearing for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Salem, Bristol, Lynchburg and Staunton districts will be held on Tuesday, June 4 at 6 p.m. at Northside High School in Roanoke.
The draft six-year program is online at http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/syp-default.asp.