The Virginia General Assembly adjourned its 2005 session
Feb. 27 after approving the largest increase in spending on transportation in
After a week of heated negotiations, the Senate approved the
$848 million spending plan 39-0; the House passed it 92-1. It now heads to Gov.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board will determine where
the money for road-building and mass transit goes, but members and state
transportation officials said they would choose from a list of already
At the top of the list are widening Interstate 95 south of
the Springfield Mixing Bowl and Interstate 66 near Gainesville, The
Washington Post reported. State officials said $13.5 million would
guarantee that the I-95 project would begin in fall 2007 and the I-66 job in
fall 2008, as planned.
Money intended for primary and secondary roads will be split
among local jurisdictions.
The two-year budget includes $75 million to help localities
across the state build their own road projects, part of an effort to encourage
more local control of road building.
Twenty-three million dollars was earmarked for rail projects
while $50 million will be used to finance public-private road projects.
Lawmakers also took steps toward addressing traffic concerns
on I-81, approving $110,000 in overtime pay for state troopers patrolling the
interstate. But lawmakers ignored the corridor when earmarking money to
renovate rest areas.
Instead, $20 million was set aside to spruce up rest areas
along I-95 and I-64, anticipating heavy traffic during the Jamestown 400th
anniversary celebration in 2007.
The remaining money is divided among maintenance needs, debt
payments and administrative costs.