In 2007, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) developed a program called Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions (STARS).  The goal was to support the development of smaller, more affordable and short-range projects to address congestion choke points and safety hotspots throughout the state.  

The program provided study resources and relevant data for each of the nine VDOT districts. These resources were used to identify problem areas and develop a wide range of cost-effective solutions.  

In 2012, due to the success of the program, VDOT launched STARS II.  STARS II builds upon the successes of the program and provides funding for pre-scoping and limited engineering services to better vet and prepare projects for the department's construction program.

The objective of STARS II (Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions) Program is to develop comprehensive, innovative transportation solutions to relieve congested bottlenecks and solve critical traffic and safety challenges throughout the commonwealth. 

stars II LOGOThe program, led by the VDOT Transportation and Mobility Planning and Traffic Engineering divisions, brings together planners, traffic engineers, safety engineers, roadway design engineers and maintenance specialists, along with local stakeholders, to jointly identify cost-effective measures aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion. 

These solutions can typically be designed and implemented within three years, depending on their impact on adjacent properties. 

Candidate STARS II projects are often identified at intersections, on corridors and at bottleneck and safety hot spots primarily in urban and suburban areas. 

Potential projects also focus on solving multimodal challenges for pedestrians, bicycles, cars and transit, where applicable.

STARS II Process

Selected STARS II recommended improvements are then advanced to the preliminary design phase to identify a more detailed and accurate project cost estimate and schedule. 

During this design process, potential design exceptions, environmental or right-of-way issues and subsurface utility conflicts are identified. 

This program phase allows for identification of potential project challenges and formation of creative and constructible solutions in the early stages of project development.

STARS II Program Improvements

Short-term improvements can be implemented by state or local forces, typically in less than a year:

  • By cutting back foliage to improve visibility
  • Adding supplemental guide or warning signs
  • By improving pavement markings

Intermediate improvements are typically constructed by VDOT contractors, with benefit/cost analyses generally performed to secure funding:

  • Adding travel lanes
  • Making intersection modifications
  • Extending an acceleration lane at an interchange

Long-term improvements are generally more extensive. As such, they are not ideal candidates for implementation under this program:

  • Major interchange modifications
  • Roadway realignments
  • Projects with significant right-of-way impacts

Explore STARS Projects

Below is a map showing icons where STARS studies have been conducted. You can read a description of the recommendation by clicking on the icon.  


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Page last modified: Nov. 25, 2013