Governor McDonnell has planned bond sales to fund road and rail projects in Virginia. This will assist projects such as the I-81 truck-climbing lane in Salem and the Route 265 Franklin Turnpike Connector in the Lynchburg district move forward. Here is a full press release from the Governor’s office:
Governor Bob McDonnell approved the sale of nearly $500 million in bonds to advance transportation projects managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) today. The bonds are scheduled to be sold in May 2010.
In addition, the governor has directed VDOT to sell $293 million of bonds in fiscal year 2011 and another $300 million in each fiscal year from 2012 through 2016 as part of the commonwealth’s Six-Year Improvement Program.
Speaking about the approval, Governor McDonnell remarked, “When the General Assembly authorized these bonds as part of the 2007 transportation package called House Bill 3202, they expected the Commonwealth to use this funding to advance projects and, as promised, I am doing exactly that. In these difficult economic times and with our mounting transportation needs in the Commonwealth, it is important to use every tool available to maximize funding options for our roads, bridges, rails, and public transportation. Our plan is to issue $2.2 billion in these bonds over the next six years.”
Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton noted, “The issuance of these bonds will permit the completion of projects underway and to start new project phases in accordance with the State’s Six Year Transportation Plan. This bond issue is a step in restoring confidence in the integrity of Virginia’s transportation finance program.”
Virginia Speaker of the House Bill Howell, who sponsored HB3202, commented, “In 2007 we passed important legislation to fund transportation projects. Virginia’s transportation system is in need of more funding to get projects going and cars on our highways moving again. I am pleased that Governor McDonnell understands how important this is and has issued these bonds to fund our state’s priority transportation projects.”
The bond funding will be combined with other state and federal dollars to continue moving projects forward when the Commonwealth updates its Fiscal Years 2011-2016 Six-Year Improvement Program this spring. The bond funding is helping to advance projects around the state, such as:
- Interstate 81 truck-climbing lanes (Staunton and Salem districts)
- Lynnhaven Interchange on I-264 (Hampton Roads District)
- Route 29 Gainesville Interchange on I-66 (Northern Virginia District)
- Eleven bridge rehabilitations on I -95 (Richmond District)
- Route 460 Connector (Bristol District)
- Building a new interchange on Route 15 at Route 17 (Culpeper District)
- Reconstruction of Route 610 (Fredericksburg District)
- Route 265 Franklin Turnpike Connector (Lynchburg District)
- Dulles Metrorail
- Norfolk Light Rail
Yesterday the bonds received a rating of Aa1 from Moody’s, AA+ from Fitch and AA+ from Standard and Poors.
For more information about these bonds and transportation financing, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org or www.DRPT.Virginia.gov.