Jeff Caldwell 804-786-2211
May 14, 2013
GOV. MCDONNELL RECOGNIZES NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION WEEK BY DESIGNATING TODAY TRANSPORTATION DAY IN VIRGINIA
Highlights Progress Toward Addressing Challenges and Opportunities Facing Transportation in Virginia
From the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell, in recognition of National Transportation Week, today issued a proclamation celebrating the importance of transportation to the Commonwealth and highlighted the administration's progress toward addressing the challenges and opportunities facing Virginia's networks of roads, bridges, rail lines and transit facilities. Chief among the administration's successes is the recently enacted bipartisan transportation funding bill, which the governor ceremonially signed into law yesterday.
Speaking about the recent progress on transportation, Governor McDonnell said, "Transportation is the lifeline that binds together Virginia's businesses, citizens and communities and it has a crucial impact on the quality of life of Virginians and our ability to grow our economy and create jobs. Over the past three and a half years, by working together across party lines, we have accomplished a great deal and made tremendous progress towards addressing the challenges and opportunities facing our infrastructure networks. However, this year, we took the most important step of all by creating long-term sustainability in our program and investing the resources necessary to not only improve our transportation infrastructure, but also significantly better our citizens' quality of life and create jobs."
National Transportation Week, which falls the week of the third Friday in May, was designated by Congress in 1962 to celebrate the importance of the nation's transportation network and the professionals who build, operate and maintain these vital arteries. In his proclamation, which designates Tuesday, May 14, 2013, as Transportation Day in Virginia, the governor cited transportation's importance to our continued economic prosperity, citizens' quality of life, and ensuring that Virginia remains the best state in which to work, live, and raise a family. The proclamation also touted the economic impact of transportation, citing recent reports that estimate that this year's transportation funding legislation will annually sustain 13,058 jobs and generate $9.5 billion in economic impact.
Among the many bipartisan successes over the past three and a half years are:
- A historic compromise on transportation funding that will not only provide over $3.4 billion in additional funding statewide, over $1.5 billion in Northern Virginia, and over $1 billion in Hampton Roads in the next five years, but will also reduce the prices Virginians pay at the pump.
- A $3 billion bond package that included the creation of the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank. This package is funding over 900 phases of projects throughout Virginia.
- Re-opening all 17 closed rest areas and implementing new programs like the Sponsorship, Advertising, Vending Enhancement (SAVE) Program to generate additional revenues to offset the costs of maintaining these facilities.
- Four audits of Virginia's transportation policies and programs, the most successful of which identified over $1.4 billion that has since been invested in projects.
- Establishing a new P3 Office and streamlining the Public-Private Transportation Act process, which has help advance long-stalled projects such as the Downtown/Midtown Tunnel, I-95 HOT Lanes, and the Route 460 Corridor Improvement Project.
- Leveraging a state investment of less than $600 million into over $3 billion worth of infrastructure through Virginia's PPTA.
- There are currently over $14 billion worth of projects under construction or in procurement throughout Virginia.
- DMV implemented a new Troops to TrucksSM which provides reciprocity for military commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), allowing servicemen and women with military CDLs to obtain Virginia CDLs to help ease the transition to civilian employment in the transportation arena.
- Virginians can now purchase hunting, fishing, and boating licenses at DMV, and they will soon be able to obtain copies of vital records at DMV Customer Service Centers, all in an effort to promote one-stop shopping for government services.
- Working with our federal and local partners and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), reduced the estimated costs for Phase II of the Dulles Metrorail Project by over $1 billion.
- Improved oversight and governance of MWAA and enhanced state representation on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
- Restored passenger rail service to Norfolk for the first time in over 35 years, and the Virginia Amtrak Lynchburg route continues to serve as a national model for performance.
- The VPA is undertaking a restructuring of its relationship with Virginia International Terminals, the port's operator, to streamline operations, create new efficiencies, and reduce costs so that the Port of Virginia can grow cargo volumes and improve its competitive position on the East Coast.
- Implemented three new tax credits to help spur cargo growth at the Port and create new economic development and job growth opportunities.
- After a successful restructuring of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, the VCSFA and its partner Orbital Sciences completed the first test launch of Orbital's new Antares rocket from the new Pad 0A at MARS.
"Since the beginning of the McDonnell Administration, the governor has continued to push every available option for advancing critical projects and ensuring our policies and programs are efficient as possible," said Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton. "Through the governor's leadership on these important issues, we have made great strides toward ensuring that Virginia's transportation agencies have the resources they need to build the transportation networks of the future."
A full list of transportation accomplishments during the McDonnell Administration can be found at the following link: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/utility/docs/Transportation%20Accomplishments%20during%20the%20McDonnell%20Administration.pdf
A copy of Governor McDonnell's proclamation can be found here: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/OurCommonwealth/Proclamations/viewproc.cfm?id=342
# # #
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.