VDOT News - Statewide



Emily Wade (804) 729-6370


Dec. 10, 2020


RICHMOND, VA – At its December meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved the fiscal year 2021-2026 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) COVID-19 update. Using the flexibility provided in a budget amendment submitted by Governor Northam and approved during the 2020 Special Session, the CTB was able to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 on transportation revenues, estimated to be $850 million through fiscal year 2022, while maintaining all projects in the SYIP on time and on schedule. 

The CTB executed a targeted approach centered on updating specific funding programs for this SYIP update. The allocation restructuring strategy, which focused on the revenue sharing program, utilized previously allocated funds not needed to support current project delivery needs to mitigate impacts from the revenue reductions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and replace those allocations in fiscal years 2021-2026 as necessary to support current project schedules. No existing funding commitments will be reduced and no existing projects will be delayed due to the proposed restructuring strategy. A full update to the SYIP will be conducted for the fiscal years 2022-2027 SYIP, and that process will begin in January. The update will be based on a new December revenue forecast and will provide funding for round 4 of SMART SCALE.

“This SYIP update allows the Commonwealth to proceed with its transportation construction projects on time and on schedule,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “With the General Assembly’s passage of the Governor’s budget amendment during the Special Session to provide the needed flexibility, we are now able to support critical infrastructure, secure our workforce, and serve as the platform for Virginia’s economic recovery and growth.” 

During the meeting, the board also authorized VDOT to enter into an agreement to coordinate the design and construction of transportation improvements associated with the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery’s southern expansion project will increase the space for interment and inurnment of veterans to ensure that those who give their life for the United States are honored in a dignified manner on the most sacred ground that the government can provide. The project will not only extend the lifespan of the cemetery but create a culturally rich corridor encompassing the surrounding memorials.

“We are proud to be part of this special project to expand Arlington National Cemetery, allowing the continued tradition of recognizing and honoring our country’s fallen heroes,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen C. Brich.

In this month’s meeting, the CTB approved three construction contracts.

  • A contract totaling $11.3 million was awarded to Bryant Structures Inc. of Toano to replace the bridge that carries Route 189 over the Blackwater River in Suffolk and Southampton counties, part of the Hampton Roads District. Completion is expected in summer 2023.
  • A contract totaling $13 million was awarded to Phillips Construction LLC of KY of Henderson, Kentucky, to improve the Interstate 81 exit 17 interchange at Route 75 in Washington County, part of the Bristol District. Completion is expected in fall 2022.
  • A contract totaling $8.3 million was awarded to W.C. English Incorporated of Lynchburg to replace the bridge that carries Route 29 north over Norfolk Southern Railway in Campbell County, part of the Lynchburg District. Completion is expected in spring 2023.

In November, Governor Ralph S. Northam appointed Mark H. Merrill to represent the Staunton District on the CTB. Merrill retired in 2020 as president and chief executive officer of Valley Health System, where he oversaw a network that includes 6,000 associates and generates annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. Merrill has served as a board member and, from 2018-2019, as chair of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. He has been active in Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) initiatives relating to quality and safety, delivery system and payment reform, and workers’ compensation, and was honored by VHHA in 2015 with an Award of Excellence for his advocacy efforts to preserve quality healthcare around the Commonwealth. Merrill holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He resides in Winchester.

Governor Northam also reappointed Mary H. Hynes to represent the Northern Virginia District and Greg Yates as an at-large rural member of the board.

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia’s transportation system. 

For more information on CTB meeting times and locations:



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.

Page last modified: Jan. 30, 2023