Virginia’s Transportation Funding Crisis: It’s Not Over
After years of transportation woes and funding challenges, Virginia finally passed a funding package, House Bill 2313, in 2013 to help address the Commonwealth’s transportation funding crisis. Development and improvement projects, such as I-95, Route 29 and I-64, have already received money from the bill. A new set of funding allocations will also have a significant impact on transportation projects across the Commonwealth.
However, despite the increased funding:
- There is little state money for secondary road construction, highway corridors, transit or rail initiatives or improvements to expand ports and airports.
- Costs to fix Virginia’s highway pavements are in excess of $1 billion.
- Twenty-six percent of bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and the estimated cost of repairs is $3 billion.
The Commonwealth is still in need of a long-term, sustainable transportation funding source.
Transportation plays a vital role in our daily lives. It connects us with our families, jobs, hospitals and schools. It supports community revitalization, economic development and job growth. It is at the center of everything we do. But for those of us who only think of transportation when we’re stuck in traffic, it’s sometimes hard to imagine its impact. Consider the following:
- Nearly two million Virginia jobs are fully dependent on the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure.
- New businesses locating to Virginia will tell you that the transportation infrastructure network is one of the most important factors affecting their decision.
- Every year, $194 billion in goods are shipped annually from sites in Virginia and another $250 billion in goods are shipped annually to sites in Virginia, mostly by truck.
- Trucks carry 80 percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Virginia. Another 13 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of the deliveries.
For these reasons and more, Virginians cannot become complacent when it comes to transportation funding. A strong system will allow Virginians mobility and accessibility with reduced congestion, maintained roadways and multimodal options. It will create a safer and more secure Commonwealth. We must educate others about the critical need for a long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution.
Become a part of the solution. Find out more information about the issues impacting all Virginians. Encourage colleagues, friends and family members to learn more about the transportation funding issue facing the Commonwealth and help educate others. Urge elected officials to maintain a long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution that will support and strengthen the Commonwealth – let’s move the Commonwealth forward.