STARS Program

STARS logo This page highlights the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) STARS Program

Program Purpose and Need | Program Evolution | Explore STARS Studies | Recent Corridor Studies | Resources


The objective of STARS (Strategically Targeted Affordable Roadway Solutions) Program is to develop comprehensive, innovative transportation solutions to relieve congestion bottlenecks and solve critical traffic and safety challenges throughout the commonwealth.
The program, led by the VDOT Transportation and Mobility Planning Division, 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. This multidisciplinary approach, from the inception of the study through the completion,
helps to:

  • Develop innovative, cost-effective solutions
  • Evaluate potential solutions more thoroughly
  • Identify potential project risks and costs
  • Build stakeholder consensus
  • Improve readiness for project implementation

VDOT District offices can leverage Statewide Planning and Research funding to help identify, plan, conceptually design, and ultimately program projects that reduce congestion and improve safety. STARS projects typically result in multiple recommended improvements that may be eligible for funding and implementation under maintenance budgets, applications in the SMART SCALE process, applications for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), State of Good Repair budgets, and/or applications for revenue sharing.

The STARS project development process was created to provide a continuous pipeline of projects prepared for implementation. Many elements of the process are on an annual cycle; however, the conduct study and design phase will follow an appropriate schedule based on the nature and complexity of each STARS project. Advancement of STARS projects will be tracked as a measure of performance.

Multidiscipline approach throughout

Program Evolution

In 2007, VDOT developed the STARS Program. The goal was to support the development of affordable and short-range projects to address congestion bottlenecks and safety hotspots throughout the state. Recommendations from STARS studies included short- and mid-term operational and safety improvements. Many of these STARS studies were included in the SYIP and have been implemented.

Since 2012, the program has shifted focus to developing studies that can be programmed in the VDOT Six-Year Improvement Program. Adapting to the need to find solutions to more complex congestion and safety challenges, STARS studies now include corridor studies and conceptual design plans. Transportation improvements identified are still targeting cost effective, innovative, and practical solutions, but also focus on ensuring the longevity of those improvements on the transportation network.

Explore STARS Studies

Below is a map showing completed and ongoing STARS studies.

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Recent Corridor Studies (VDOT District)

Listed below are STARS corridor studies by district that are currently underway or recently completed under the STARS Program in the last 5 years.




Hampton Roads


Northern Virginia





Federal Highway-Related Information

Page last modified: March 27, 2023