Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Exit 94 still safety concern

PULASKI — Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski should “keep plugging along” in their efforts to get the state to make improvements to Exit 94.
That’s the recommendation of Virginia Department of Transportation Resident Engineer David Clarke.
Recently, the Commonwealth Transportation Board decided to cut funding for the project from the Six-Year Highway Improvement Program.
But Clarke advised the supervisors they and town officials should continue to attend fall and spring public hearings to stress to the CTB the importance of the project.
Nearly 600 projects across the state were either delayed or removed from the program in June. Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer pointed out a $1.1 billion revenue shortfall forced the state to “focus only on safety and projects that we can advance through the pipeline to make the most of the funds we have available.”
At their June meetings, the Board of Supervisors and Pulaski Town Council voted to officially ask VDOT to reinstate the project. Both boards agreed the Interstate 81 exit is dangerous and should fall into the category of a “safety” project.
Since that time, Gov. Tim Kaine has announced the additional state funding cuts will have to be made due to projected revenue being lower than anticipated. Road projects were another area he suggested cuts be made.
Clarke said he hasn’t yet heard any specifics as to where those cuts might fall. However, he noted that due to gas prices and declining auto sales, the state has seen the biggest drop in driving “in a long time.”
Gasoline taxes and sales taxes on automobiles provide much of VDOT’s funding.

The Exit 94 project would have reconstructed the northbound acceleration lane at the exit, off Route 99. It’s a project that has garnered the support of many area residents and officials who feel the lane is too short and poses a traffic hazard for motorists entering Interstate 81 and already traveling on the interstate.
In a July 29 letter to Clarke, Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell pointed out that the Town Council was “greatly distressed” to learn the project had been removed from the program. Copies of the letter were provided to the supervisors in their August meeting packets.
“In public meetings discussing the town’s future, we have heard comments from citizens that this is the worst I-81 exit in the area,” Worrell stated in the letter. He said citizens ask why the Town Council doesn’t do something about the situation, so the town points out that it does not have jurisdiction over highway improvements.
Clarke responded in a letter to Worrell that he too shares the concern about safety and disappointment that “there is not sufficient funding to continue to move this project forward.”
He notes that VDOT had to cut its construction budget by as much as 44 percent.

Comments

comments

Exit 94 still safety concern

PULASKI — Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski should “keep plugging along” in their efforts to get the state to make improvements to Exit 94.
That’s the recommendation of Virginia Department of Transportation Resident Engineer David Clarke.
Recently, the Commonwealth Transportation Board decided to cut funding for the project from the Six-Year Highway Improvement Program.
But Clarke advised the supervisors they and town officials should continue to attend fall and spring public hearings to stress to the CTB the importance of the project.
Nearly 600 projects across the state were either delayed or removed from the program in June. Secretary of Transportation Pierce R. Homer pointed out a $1.1 billion revenue shortfall forced the state to “focus only on safety and projects that we can advance through the pipeline to make the most of the funds we have available.”
At their June meetings, the Board of Supervisors and Pulaski Town Council voted to officially ask VDOT to reinstate the project. Both boards agreed the Interstate 81 exit is dangerous and should fall into the category of a “safety” project.
Since that time, Gov. Tim Kaine has announced the additional state funding cuts will have to be made due to projected revenue being lower than anticipated. Road projects were another area he suggested cuts be made.
Clarke said he hasn’t yet heard any specifics as to where those cuts might fall. However, he noted that due to gas prices and declining auto sales, the state has seen the biggest drop in driving “in a long time.”
Gasoline taxes and sales taxes on automobiles provide much of VDOT’s funding.

The Exit 94 project would have reconstructed the northbound acceleration lane at the exit, off Route 99. It’s a project that has garnered the support of many area residents and officials who feel the lane is too short and poses a traffic hazard for motorists entering Interstate 81 and already traveling on the interstate.
In a July 29 letter to Clarke, Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell pointed out that the Town Council was “greatly distressed” to learn the project had been removed from the program. Copies of the letter were provided to the supervisors in their August meeting packets.
“In public meetings discussing the town’s future, we have heard comments from citizens that this is the worst I-81 exit in the area,” Worrell stated in the letter. He said citizens ask why the Town Council doesn’t do something about the situation, so the town points out that it does not have jurisdiction over highway improvements.
Clarke responded in a letter to Worrell that he too shares the concern about safety and disappointment that “there is not sufficient funding to continue to move this project forward.”
He notes that VDOT had to cut its construction budget by as much as 44 percent.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login