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State's six-year road plan approved
The Commonwealth Transportation Board passed its $11.4-billion Six-Year Improvement Plan. Numerous big area projects are included in the plan.


Date published: 6/21/2012

BY SCOTT SHENK

The Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday approved an $11.4 billion Six-Year Improvement Plan that provides funds for statewide road maintenance and hundreds of transportation projects.

Several area projects are included.

The approved funding is $800,000 more than what was proposed. The plan budget also tops the 2012-17 plan by the same amount.

Most of that increase, according to a statement from Gov. Bob McDonnell, comes from public and private funding for the $940 million Interstate 95 express lanes project that will extend modified HOV lanes into Stafford County. The express lanes will carry a toll for vehicles with fewer than three people.

"The six-year program advances projects that will relieve congestion in the most heavily traveled areas of the state and improve numerous roads and bridges throughout Virginia," McDonnell said in a statement. "The program also supports a better multimodal system, moving more people with fewer cars."

Cord Sterling, a member of the CTB and the Stafford Board of Supervisors, said the Fredericksburg District is one of the better-funded areas in the state.

"We've got some major projects we're moving on," he said.

But, he added, there still isn't enough money to go around.

"We have more projects than we do resources," he said.

In the six-year program, primary roads got the biggest chunk of the highway budget at $2.8 billion, followed by the interstates at $1.7 billion, according to VDOT documents.

The Fredericksburg area has scores of projects in the six-year plan, most of which carry over from previous years.

One of Stafford's key projects is the planned new Interstate 95 interchange at Courthouse Road, an estimated $175 million project.

The project benefited by getting millions that were allocated for the controversial I-95 Rappahannock River Crossing.

That project included plans to improve the U.S. 17 interchange, add feeder roads along I-95 and add a parkway, potentially with a toll, from the Fredericksburg rest area on I-95 to the Gordon Road area of State Route 3.

Spotsylvania supervisors, who oppose the parkway, successfully derailed the River Crossing project. It has been shelved, at least temporarily. About $2 million is still set aside for the project, Sterling said.

Two other major Stafford projects are included in the plan: the estimated $50 million U.S. 17 widening and the Falmouth intersection reconstruction, estimated to cost nearly $25 million.


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Below is a sampling of key area projects included in the state's 2013-2018 funding plan.

Stafford

Courthouse Road/Interstate 95 interchange reconstruction

U.S. 17 widening

Falmouth intersection reconstruction

Virginia Railway Express lot expansions at Brooke and Leeland roads

U.S. 1 widening in north Stafford

Spotsylvania

The current State Route 3 widening project

The VRE third-track and station projects

Gordon Road/Route 3 commuter lot expansion

The current Courthouse Road bypass

Fredericksburg

Fall Hill Avenue canal bridge replacement

Replacement of the Fall Hill Avenue bridge over Interstate 95