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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 704569 times)

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3450 on: January 11, 2019, 11:17:24 PM »

Compensation or not I say go for the 4th lane. It's not like the HOT lanes aren't going to be used (it is seriously THAT much traffic north of Fredericksburg). If anything this would go towards the ultimate goal of having at least 8 general lanes between I-295 & I-495.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3451 on: January 11, 2019, 11:21:02 PM »

Compensation or not I say go for the 4th lane. It's not like the HOT lanes aren't going to be used (it is seriously THAT much traffic north of Fredericksburg). If anything this would go towards the ultimate goal of having at least 8 general lanes between I-295 & I-495.
Agreed. This would be a significant start to that goal, and would relieve congestion along the corridor. Hell, like I proposed before, you could build 2 lanes in each direction, one general purpose, and one HO/T. That would bring the corridor up to 8 GP lanes + 2 one-way HO/T lanes + 2 reversible HO/T lanes, and that new each-direction HO/T lane could provide funding for itself and the new GP lane.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3452 on: January 12, 2019, 04:44:23 PM »

There will be a public meeting next week for the proposed auxiliary lanes on I-95 between VA 10 and VA 288.  (the link is from NBC 12 Richmond)
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3453 on: January 12, 2019, 05:04:01 PM »

There will be a public meeting next week for the proposed auxiliary lanes on I-95 between VA 10 and VA 288.  (the link is from NBC 12 Richmond)

Needed!  Nowadays even a project like that will cost $28 to $30 million.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3454 on: January 15, 2019, 10:05:51 AM »

Northbound US-29 traffic in Danville will be detoured through the city due to a pipe failure.

http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/lynchburg/2018/us-29-north-bypass-traffic-will-use-danville-detour12-14-2018.asp

Update (paywalled):

https://www.godanriver.com/news/danville/new-flow-of-traffic-coming-soon-to-u-s-in/article_7d4506ac-1855-11e9-83b0-8fe4a4e4b3a6.html

Quote
Traffic should flow both ways on U.S. 29 in Danville soon, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Paula Jones said Monday.

Crews have been busy working and planning for one lane of traffic to run both north and south on the highway’s southbound side in approximately a week.

Full repairs to the roadway are expected to take several months, and have been somewhat slowed by weather, but cars will not be rerouted through Danville after the stopgap reconfiguration.

The massive project started after a pipe deteriorated from the weight of vehicles passing over it, Jones said.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 10:14:05 AM by LM117 »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3455 on: January 18, 2019, 02:51:32 PM »

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3456 on: January 19, 2019, 02:43:54 PM »

The new collector-distributor flyover ramp at I-264 / I-64 opens Monday in Norfolk. There won't be any big traffic changes, as this simply moves the existing C/D traffic onto the new flyover. The direct connector from I-64 West to I-264 East remains under construction. Phase #1 of the interchange improvements is expected to completed by October 2019, and that will fully open both the direct flyover to I-264 East, and the C/D lane flyover for local traffic.

Phase #2 is currently under construction, and it will reconfigure the Newtown Rd and Witchduck Rd interchanges, and construct a new bridge over I-264 as part of a connector between Cleveland St and Greenwich Rd. That project will be done by Fall 2021.

Currently, the I-64 West to I-264 East ramp remains closed until Monday morning, when traffic will be on the new flyover.

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/THIS-WEEKEND--64W-to-264E---Newtown-Rd-Detours.html?soid=1124277087205&aid=3Y_2nqUmqms

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3457 on: January 19, 2019, 10:37:38 PM »

Recently the CTB released the Smart Scale scores for the Fiscal Year 2020. Since there was only roughly $779 million available this time around, not surprisingly, very few widening and interchange projects were recommended for funding:
http://smartscale.org/documents/20190115/7scorebook2020p.pdf
http://vasmartscale.org/projects/default.asp

Two particular projects that I believe should've been recommended for funding but were not, both involve I-95. The first project would have built a southbound auxiliary lane from the current lane drop at VA-123(Exit 160) to VA-294(Exit 158) partially alleviating arguably the worst bottleneck in the entire state(the HRBT is up there too). I believe a compensation fee to Transburban would not have been necessary since the new lane will be an auxiliary, not a general purpose. The second project would have extended a 4th general purpose lane from the future southern end of Rappahannock river crossing project at Exit 130(where 5 lanes will narrow back down to 3) to Exit 126. While a large portion of I-95 commuter traffic does get off at Exit 130, most of us here can agree that there is enough thru traffic on I-95 to warrant 8 lanes all the way down to Richmond. Any significant lane drop on I-95( as proven by the Occoquan and Garrisonville Bottlenecks) is usually disastrous. It appears that the only way these projects and other major ones like are ever going to get funding is either via the localities or by some outside deal. Either way, Virginia desperately needs more transportation funds!
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3458 on: January 21, 2019, 01:45:55 PM »

Traffic has shifted at I-264 / I-64, and traffic bound from I-64 West to I-264 East is now using the new C/D lane, along with local traffic from I-264 East. The old C/D lane has closed to make room for construction of the new direct flyover onto I-264 East mainline. Looks like crews have already started preparing that area for the tie-in.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3459 on: January 25, 2019, 09:21:02 PM »

"PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) -- There is a new task force to examine ways to get rid of the Downtown and Midtown Tunnel tolls.

Last week, the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization unanimously voted to create a working group to do that. The group hasn't met yet, but they are coming together as a region to fight a common foe, and that is the tunnel tolls that will be with us for 50 years.

The eight-member group is dedicated to finding ways to have the state buy down and to eliminate these tolls because they not only hurt Portsmouth and Norfolk, they have come to learn that they hurt the region overall and impact people who don't even use them.

Long time opponent of the tolls, Terry Danaher, is the chairperson of the Community Transportation Advisory Committee and sits on the new committee. She says, "there has been a certain amount of state responsibility in the legislature questioning the state's level of responsibility. The state got us into this,  so perhaps the state needs to get us out of it."

Another member of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization toll committee is Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe, who says "it's not just an issue for Portsmouth. It is an issue for the whole region, and I think it is significant in what is taking place and the region has embraced this unanimously, that it is a crummy deal and it is a terrible deal for Portsmouth, and everyone else in Hampton Roads. It hurts everyone else in Hampton Roads."

The negative impact of tolls is nothing new.

Last June, Old Dominion University's Economics Professor Dr. James Koch made it clear in his tolls study, and how it impacts Portsmouth. He says, "The tunnels are a regional facility and they are hurting the entire region, but it's Portsmouth paying the biggest price for the tolls, easily."

Danaher said, "The operators of the tunnels are a foreign company, and they get the money, billions and billions of dollars over $22 billion dollars on much less of an investment of less than one billion dollars."

For eight years, Danaher has been upset that the private partners are reaping tens of millions of dollars  in an unfair toll deal on the backs of the people.

However, Virginia has itself to blame. The Commonwealth agreed to a deal under former Governor Bob McDonnell that leaves the possibility of skyrocketing tolls for fifty years, but that was the bad deal that was cut with the state says Rowe. He said, "I think the deal is crummy." 

Rowe made the motion to create the task force, and he's ready to fight, "I think for the first time we have the whole region saying the ERC contract with the state is bad and really bad for Portsmouth.  It's not a Portsmouth problem or a Portsmouth-Norfolk problem.  It's a regional problem."

Hampton Roads Regionalism is fighting back in an uphill battle. 10 On Your Side asked Rowe what he wants Virginia to do. He said,  "I want them to buy it out, pure and simple."

That would be a buyout of about a billion dollars, which is not knew either. Portsmouth Delegate Steve Heretick told us this last June, "We have to find financial resources necessary whether from state or HRTAC (Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission) or another mechanism to help pay this down or pay it off."

It appears the longtime fight has new energized people, new blood, new resolve, "People are new to positions. The new people are waking up and realizing we don't want this.  It is not fair to the localities here," Danaher said."


https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/portsmouth/new-task-force-forms-to-find-ways-to-rid-of-downtown-midtown-tunnel-tolls/1721025738?fbclid=IwAR3fCse0vz3GtjPcPxHlXfWFXzLALEjzqI7P5XzPRSDXGb-kWl-9dlsk718
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3460 on: January 25, 2019, 10:20:04 PM »

I’ll be honest, I avoid the tunnels now because of the tolls. I used to take 264 all the way from Bowers Hill to points east of 64. Now, if I’m coming from the south side of the James I either take 64 or, if I’m not in a hurry, the Gilmerton Bridge.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3461 on: January 26, 2019, 12:07:41 AM »

Quote
"PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) -- There is a new task force to examine ways to get rid of the Downtown and Midtown Tunnel tolls.
Danaher said, "The operators of the tunnels are a foreign company, and they get the money, billions and billions of dollars over $22 billion dollars on much less of an investment of less than one billion dollars."

This guy sounds like an economics idiot.  Sounds like something that Paul Krugman would come up with.  It is not going to cost $22 billion to service $1 billion of debt.  Maybe 1/10 of that, run an amortization program and see.

The tunnels were detolled for the reason the article said, for economic benefits to the region.  Also enabled by the 90% FHWA Interstate funding for the expanded I-264 Downtown Tunnel and Berkley Bridge.

Unfortunately that kind of FHWA Interstate funding is no longer available, at least not in significant amounts, so now we have tolls.  If HRTAC wants to try to allocate the money to buy it out, then they are welcome to come up with a plan.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 02:02:33 AM by Alps »
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3462 on: January 26, 2019, 03:01:07 AM »

This guy sounds like an economics idiot.  Sounds like something that Paul Krugman would come up with.  It is not going to cost $22 billion to service $1 billion of debt.  Maybe 1/10 of that, run an amortization program and see.

The tunnels were detolled for the reason the article said, for economic benefits to the region.  Also enabled by the 90% FHWA Interstate funding for the expanded I-264 Downtown Tunnel and Berkley Bridge.

Unfortunately that kind of FHWA Interstate funding is no longer available, at least not in significant amounts, so now we have tolls.  If HRTAC wants to try to allocate the money to buy it out, then they are welcome to come up with a plan.
[/quote]
Considering the existing tolls rates, and the continuous rise of traffic & the rates annually, it's going to generate billions of dollars over a 50 year course. By 2064 (50 years from 2014), it would've collected at least $8 billion, maybe not $22 billion, but certainly a high number. And the private investor takes some of that in case you weren't aware, that's why P3s aren't always a good idea. Te deal signed with Elizabeth River Crossings, or whatever the actual companies were, came with much controversy and I'm glad they are now working to revert it. I wasn't expecting to hear that tolls might get removed completely, but if they can do that, that's welcome. The tunnel tolls are only going to choke the area for the next 45 years. If the rates keep rising, you could be paying $10+ just to go from Norfolk to Portsmouth. No thank you.

I’ll be honest, I avoid the tunnels now because of the tolls. I used to take 264 all the way from Bowers Hill to points east of 64. Now, if I’m coming from the south side of the James I either take 64 or, if I’m not in a hurry, the Gilmerton Bridge.
Same. I only use the tunnels if necessary, per se going between Norfolk and Portsmouth. I'm not a daily commuter of them thankfully, but if I was, geesh I would hate it. So would my wallet.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3463 on: January 26, 2019, 08:51:28 AM »

Considering the existing tolls rates, and the continuous rise of traffic & the rates annually, it's going to generate billions of dollars over a 50 year course.

When the bonds are paid off the tolls will either be eliminated or reduced to maintenance levels.

Quote
I only use the tunnels if necessary, per se going between Norfolk and Portsmouth. I'm not a daily commuter of them thankfully, but if I was, geesh I would hate it. So would my wallet.

Underwater major highway tunnels that are untolled, or for that matter don't have a large toll, are as rare as hen's teeth.  When are the tolls at Baltimore Harbor, Hudson River, and East River going to be removed? 

Maryland got 90% FHWA Interstate funding to build the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel, which was by far the most expensive Interstate project in history at that time (1980s), and also got a federal waiver to collect tolls on it.  They have no plans to ever remove those tolls.  How about that for fairness...
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 09:04:46 AM by Beltway »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3464 on: January 26, 2019, 09:20:00 AM »

Considering the existing tolls rates, and the continuous rise of traffic & the rates annually, it's going to generate billions of dollars over a 50 year course.

When the bonds are paid off the tolls will either be eliminated or reduced to maintenance levels.

You don't think that by the time the current bonds are paid off, another widening will be needed?
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3465 on: January 26, 2019, 02:03:56 PM »

When the bonds are paid off the tolls will either be eliminated or reduced to maintenance levels.
The tolls are fully owned by a private investor, they're not going to eliminated or reduced as long as they have control. This is the bad thing about P3's - they will toll until they have to stop, I.E. when the contract runs out. This is why I'm thankful that Chesapeake fully owns the tolls on Dominion Blvd and the Expressway and not some P3.

Underwater major highway tunnels that are untolled, or for that matter don't have a large toll, are as rare as hen's teeth.  When are the tolls at Baltimore Harbor, Hudson River, and East River going to be removed? 

Maryland got 90% FHWA Interstate funding to build the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel, which was by far the most expensive Interstate project in history at that time (1980s), and also got a federal waiver to collect tolls on it.  They have no plans to ever remove those tolls.  How about that for fairness...
There's a few different water crossing tunnels in Florida that are not tolled, the I-10 and arterial tunnels in Mobile, AL are not tolled, there's an underwater tunnel that's not tolled in New Orleans, etc. Just because there's some tolls up north does not mean it's "rare" to see non-tolled tunnels. Go to the south, they'll show you plenty of that.

Also, it's important to mention the tunnel tolls you've mentioned have always been tolled. The Downtown Tunnel & Midtown Tunnel tolls were removed, it stayed that way for 25 years or so, then they slapped back some expensive tolls onto it. It's a burden to this area. There's no toll-free alternative to go between Norfolk / Portsmouth unless you go 30 minutes around.
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sprjus4

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3466 on: January 26, 2019, 02:05:35 PM »

Considering the existing tolls rates, and the continuous rise of traffic & the rates annually, it's going to generate billions of dollars over a 50 year course.

When the bonds are paid off the tolls will either be eliminated or reduced to maintenance levels.

You don't think that by the time the current bonds are paid off, another widening will be needed?
Agreed, that area is a huge bottleneck. Close to 100,000 AADT.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3467 on: January 26, 2019, 02:44:54 PM »

When the bonds are paid off the tolls will either be eliminated or reduced to maintenance levels.
The tolls are fully owned by a private investor, they're not going to eliminated or reduced as long as they have control.

They don't have control, the facilities are owned by VDOT, and the concession is regulated by the state SCC.

Quote
There's a few different water crossing tunnels in Florida that are not tolled, the I-10 and arterial tunnels in Mobile, AL are not tolled, there's an underwater tunnel that's not tolled in New Orleans, etc. Just because there's some tolls up north does not mean it's "rare" to see non-tolled tunnels. Go to the south, they'll show you plenty of that.

Zero untolled in Florida, I-10 in Mobile has no tolls.  That is about it for shipping channels.  Look around the world and see all the high tolled tunnels.

Quote
Also, it's important to mention the tunnel tolls you've mentioned have always been tolled.

So that makes it better?  I strongly supported removing the tolls in the 1980s, but now I am wondering if that is not a sustainable paradigm.  Major shipping channel bridges are invariably tolled as well.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3468 on: January 26, 2019, 03:20:02 PM »

Zero untolled in Florida, I-10 in Mobile has no tolls.  That is about it for shipping channels.  Look around the world and see all the high tolled tunnels.
Both the Port Miami Tunnel and New River Tunnels in the greater Miami area do not collect any tolls. They both cross shipping channels.

So that makes it better?  I strongly supported removing the tolls in the 1980s, but now I am wondering if that is not a sustainable paradigm.  Major shipping channel bridges are invariably tolled as well.
I would support removing the tolls as well. I'm just making the point that at least those tolls have always been there. These haven't.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3469 on: January 27, 2019, 12:34:35 AM »

Zero untolled in Florida, I-10 in Mobile has no tolls.  That is about it for shipping channels.  Look around the world and see all the high tolled tunnels.
Both the Port Miami Tunnel and New River Tunnels in the greater Miami area do not collect any tolls. They both cross shipping channels.

The Port Miami Tunnel is a major underwater tunnel.  The New River Tunnel is not, it 2 lanes, it is about 900 feet long and the water depth is 14 feet, which would not handle ocean going ships, at least not of the size that draws 40 feet of water which is a full size ship.  In Fort Lauderdale, BTW, Port Everglades.

So maybe 1% of the major underwater tunnels in the world are untolled.

HRBT will receive a $3.5 billion expansion to 8 lanes, the general purpose lanes will remain toll-free, the new HOT lanes will be tolled but only 5% of the project funding is toll supported.

So that makes it better?  I strongly supported removing the tolls in the 1980s, but now I am wondering if that is not a sustainable paradigm.  Major shipping channel bridges are invariably tolled as well.
I would support removing the tolls as well. I'm just making the point that at least those tolls have always been there. These haven't.

You make that sound like a positive; I see it as a negative.  River crossings like in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, etc. will -never- be detolled.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 01:30:46 AM by Beltway »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3470 on: January 27, 2019, 09:36:00 AM »

So maybe 1% of the major underwater tunnels in the world are untolled.
1% is an extremely low figure. I'd say maybe 30-45%

HRBT will receive a $3.5 billion expansion to 8 lanes, the general purpose lanes will remain toll-free, the new HOT lanes will be tolled but only 5% of the project funding is toll supported.
I'm aware. It's actually on 6-lanes for now above land, but underwater will hold the capacity to 8 lanes. Smart move, I was going to be a little upset had they went ahead with Plan A and only built a new 6 lane tunnel.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3471 on: January 27, 2019, 05:09:41 PM »

So maybe 1% of the major underwater tunnels in the world are untolled.
1% is an extremely low figure. I'd say maybe 30-45%

Baloney, any way you slice it.  Maybe 1% is low, but it wouldn't be more than one out of 20, or 5%.

Underwater tunnels in other countries typically have extremely high tolls.

My definition of major underwater tunnel -- at least 4,000 feet long, shipping channel of at least 35 feet depth.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 05:11:50 PM by Beltway »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3472 on: January 28, 2019, 09:49:41 PM »

"A bill meant to boost funding for Virginia highways could put some of $1.1 billion in planned projects in Hampton Roads at risk, says state Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Warm Springs, aims to create a statewide highway funding program.

It would do so by raising the statewide gas tax by 3 percent. But it would also repeal the regional sales and gas taxes enacted in 2013 to fund transportation initiatives in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.

Wagner said the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission has had to put an application for a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan on ice because Deeds’ bill calls into question the source of money — those regional taxes — that would be used to repay the loan.

HRTAC executive director Kevin Page said the agency is seeking a low-interest, $450 million TIFIA loan to help finance some $1.1 billion worth of work, including widening 21 miles of Interstate 64 on the Peninsula, as well as work on the I-64-I-264 interchange in Norfolk and on the stretch of I-64 between Bowers Hill and Battlefield Boulevard in South Hampton Roads.

Money from the regional taxes is already pledged to pay interest and principal on $500 million of bonds the agency sold last year to finance that work, as well.

Over the long run, the bill, if enacted, could hinder financing for expanding the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Page said.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City County, said the bill represents a major shift in policy away from the transportation financing reform enacted in 2013, which Deeds supported.

“To do this when we’re trying to get federal funding is — I’m trying to find the right word — not acceptable,” he said."


https://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/dp-nws-shad-plank-0126-story.html
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3473 on: January 28, 2019, 10:13:45 PM »

A bill meant to boost funding for Virginia highways could put some of $1.1 billion in planned projects in Hampton Roads at risk, says state Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Warm Springs, aims to create a statewide highway funding program.

It would help if the article would cite the bill number so that readers can read it for themselves and see what it says, on lis.virginia.gov.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3474 on: January 28, 2019, 11:19:10 PM »

A bill meant to boost funding for Virginia highways could put some of $1.1 billion in planned projects in Hampton Roads at risk, says state Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Warm Springs, aims to create a statewide highway funding program.

It would help if the article would cite the bill number so that readers can read it for themselves and see what it says, on lis.virginia.gov.
Relating to the funding thing, I still want to know why there's billions being poured into these projects, yet the Dominion Blvd expansion done a few years back was shoved off any of this funding and forced Chesapeake to build it w/ tolls.
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