Tuesday, November 9, 2010

$1.45 billion found in VDOT couch cushions goes quickly

Governor Bob McDonnell

$200 million will go immediately to maintenance projects statewide and CTB will allocate half a billion dollars to specific projects in Spring 2011. The six-year transportation improvement program and new policies will speed up time between planning and road building so says Governor Bob McDonnell.

The Commonwealth is known for its friendly business cimate. New businesses will struggle. Expansion of existing businesses will find clogged arteries failing to sustain growth – strangling and suffocating in the gridlock of government incompetence. Pumping more goods through congested arteries is an economic non-starter.

Where is are chief job’s creator, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling? This “no new taxes” mantra is a transportation, education job and business killer.

The question is now what? It is still a drop in the bucket as DPVA chair Dickie Cranwell pointed out. A one-time shot of epinephrine barely keeps Virginia’s transportation system on life support.

As Cranwell said in the Augusta Free Press, ” businesses will continue to struggle to move their products and people over infrastructure that is inadequate to meet the demands of a modern economy.” 

Governor McDonnell noted, “VDOT met the deadline to develop a comprehensive action plan to improve its business practices and ensure that its past failures to fully utilize all available transportation funding do not reoccur.”

We have some couch cushion found money now spent. I see no answers here.

VDOT’s action plan designates select projects that will utilize the unused funds:

  • $200 million in excess construction cash will be administered by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB)
  • $524 million in the “federal reserve” will be allocated to specific projects by the CTB during the spring 2011 update to the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (SYIP)
  • $200 million in unspent maintenance allocations will be provided to VDOT’s nine districts to meet critical maintenance needs
  • $130 million in inactive federal project balances already allocated to projects will be re-obligated to other active projects in coordination with localities
  • $400 million in toll credits will be allocated to specific projects by the CTB as a state match to federal projects.

Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton added, “Virginia’s transportation challenges require us to find better ways of doing business and managing the taxpayer’s dollars. This performance audit and implementation of VDOT’s action plan will have an immediate impact on our economy and a lasting effect on Virginia’s transportation infrastructure.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Finance, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , ,

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