News and Views

VBT : Bringing Recognition & Responsibility to Virginia’s Transportation Infrastructure: Part I

House Bill 2: Passed in 2014, HB2’s purpose is to ensure that funding from HB2313 is designated through an objective scoring process that weighs every geographic region of Virginia.

In 2012, Virginia’s roadways and bridges were in great need of repair and were negatively impacting drivers’ quality of life. After years of a suffering transportation infrastructure, House Bill 2313 was passed, marking the first time money had been allocated specifically for transportation in more than 25 years; it was also the largest transportation package in the Commonwealth’s history. Suddenly there was a large infusion of revenue into the state’s transportation network. The following year, under Governor Terry McAuliffe’s administration, House Bill 2 was created as an effort to bring transparency and fairness to the distribution of HB2313’s funding.

“The whole purpose of HB2 is to take a project in rural Bristol and compare it to one in Northern Virginia and ask, what’s the relevant benefit to the Commonwealth?” Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Layne, said. “It doesn’t always mean it’s the one that carries the most cars.”

Overseen by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB), HB2 will make sure that revenue is distributed after an objective scoring process that takes into account public opinion and each geographic region of Virginia. Major factors that will be considered are: safety, congestion mitigation, accessibility, environmental quality, economic development and land use (which is only factored in for areas with populations greater than 200,000). “For urban areas—Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond—congestion mitigation will be the largest factor,” Sec. Layne said. “But in the rural areas, that’ll be economic development or safety.”

Since Virginia is comprised of a variety of communities ranging greatly in population, economy, topography and culture, it was vital for HB2313’s revenue to be distributed through a fair, organized scoring process that considered every area’s transportation infrastructure needs. More than one year after its passing at the 2014 General Assembly, Sec. Layne says HB2 has allowed all transportation projects to be “viewed on a level playing field.”

back to News & Views