Va.’s New 6-Year Roads Plan Costs Billions More

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Interstate traffic (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Interstate traffic (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. — The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $17.6 billion in new spending Wednesday, an amount more than 50 percent greater than the comparable plan passed last year.

An additional $6.2 billion in the master plan for state roads, bridges and rails represents more than $1 billion a year from the new transportation funding reform law the General Assembly adopted in February.

The Six-Year Improvement Plan devotes $15.7 billion to a crash course for reviving the state’s 58,000-mile web of roads with $11.5 billion for highways and bridges alone, $2.9 billion for rail and public transit and $1.3 from a new Hampton Roads tax levy.

Independent from the six-year plan, a separate regional fund from northern Virginia adds $1.9 billion to total spending.

Of the 2,787 individual items contained in the six-year plan, about one-fourth direct work on primary highways and one-fourth direct work on urban road systems. One-fifth of the line items are for secondary highways and about 8 percent of the projects are on interstate highways. Five percent goes to enhancement projects 9 percent to miscellaneous highway work.

Rail projects account for 7 percent of the items in the six-year plan, and 7 percent goes for public transit.

The greatest number of items in the plan are for the northern Virginia district. Excluding rail and public transportation projects, 522 line items — one fifth of the total in the six-year plan — are for the state’s Washington, D.C., suburbs, Virginia’s most populous and traffic-choked. And that doesn’t account for work to be done using the $1.9 billion in new regional revenue raised in the Northern Virginia Planning District.

The Richmond and Hampton Roads districts each get about 16 percent of the highway line items in the six-year blueprint.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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