Virginia Secretary of Transportation: To drive smart, build smarter | Op-Ed

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Virginia Secretary of Transportation: To drive smart, build smarter | Op-Ed

Hampton Roads enters a new era of multi-modal transportation improvements by making the right investments based on transportation benefits instead of parochial politics.

Before any benefits could be realized, the region had to accept the stark fact that limited resources have consequences. Nowhere is this more evident than in transportation. Case in point: $9 billion in project requests from localities statewide were submitted this fall. Around $1 billion in public funding is available.

The McAuliffe administration worked with the General Assembly to develop a project prioritization process called SMART SCALE. This is an objective and data-driven process designed for localities and regional bodies to select candidate projects that generate the most benefit for the money. Once projects are scored, the Commonwealth Transportation Board makes the final funding selection. Instead of allocating dollars to every project virtually assuring little to nothing gets built, the SMART SCALE process fully funds the right projects so they can be delivered benefiting all regions of the state in an equitable way.

Recent actions demonstrate Hampton Road’s regional leaders understand this. Once fragmented and divisive, the region is working together by using logic to evolve the transportation vision. This started when the region combined resources with the state to widen 21 miles I-64 on the Peninsula to six lanes past Route 199. The project will provide immediate congestion relief.

Read more of Secretary Lane’s comments here…


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