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More highway fund cuts are on the way

Yet another round of cuts in road funding are on their way, making it “difficult, if not impossible” for any new projects to be undertaken through 2014, according to a letter from Virginia’s commissioner of transportation.
In fact, Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Davis S. Ekern, points out that “unprecedented challenges in transportation funding” also will result in a one percent decrease in road maintenance payments to municipalities and counties from 2010 to 2014.
Ekern’s comments are contained in a Jan. 23 letter addressed to “All Urban Municipalities and Counties.”
Resident Engineer David Clarke presented the letter to Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Monday night, saying Ekern will be sending the letters out to localities shortly.
Ekern attributes the funding “challenges” to the “economic downturn.”
The Commonwealth’s Transportation Board (CTB) issued a revision to the 2009-2014 Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP) in December. However, Ekern states in the letter that “recent revenue forecasts indicate the need for additional reductions” in the SYIP.
These recent reductions leave “no state and federal funds … for primary, secondary and urban systems in fiscal years 2010 to 2014,” he adds.
Clarke told the supervisors Monday night that it will “be a long time before we do (pave) another unpaved road.”
According to Ekern, the CTB’s focus during the term of the SYIP will be in allocating funding for construction projects that already are underway or slated for advertisement by the end of the federal fiscal year, and “addressing deficient pavements and bridges.”
Monday night, the board of supervisors accepted County Administrator Peter Huber’s suggestion that Pulaski County ask the CTB to focus on bridges as much as possible – particularly on the Route 114 bridge.
Huber said the county will “have a problem” if area bridges deteriorate to the point they can’t be used.
The latest draft of the SYIP and its impact on specific projects will be posted on VDOT’s website sometime prior to a Feb. 5 public hearing to be held at VDOT’s Central Office Auditorium in Richmond, according to Ekern’s letter. The hearing starts at 6 p.m.
The public comment period on the SYIP cuts ends Feb. 13.

The CTB is expected to adopt the final revision of the SYIP at its regular meeting Feb. 19.

More highway fund cuts are on the way

Yet another round of cuts in road funding are on their way, making it “difficult, if not impossible” for any new projects to be undertaken through 2014, according to a letter from Virginia’s commissioner of transportation.
In fact, Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Davis S. Ekern, points out that “unprecedented challenges in transportation funding” also will result in a one percent decrease in road maintenance payments to municipalities and counties from 2010 to 2014.
Ekern’s comments are contained in a Jan. 23 letter addressed to “All Urban Municipalities and Counties.”
Resident Engineer David Clarke presented the letter to Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Monday night, saying Ekern will be sending the letters out to localities shortly.
Ekern attributes the funding “challenges” to the “economic downturn.”
The Commonwealth’s Transportation Board (CTB) issued a revision to the 2009-2014 Six Year Improvement Program (SYIP) in December. However, Ekern states in the letter that “recent revenue forecasts indicate the need for additional reductions” in the SYIP.
These recent reductions leave “no state and federal funds … for primary, secondary and urban systems in fiscal years 2010 to 2014,” he adds.
Clarke told the supervisors Monday night that it will “be a long time before we do (pave) another unpaved road.”
According to Ekern, the CTB’s focus during the term of the SYIP will be in allocating funding for construction projects that already are underway or slated for advertisement by the end of the federal fiscal year, and “addressing deficient pavements and bridges.”
Monday night, the board of supervisors accepted County Administrator Peter Huber’s suggestion that Pulaski County ask the CTB to focus on bridges as much as possible – particularly on the Route 114 bridge.
Huber said the county will “have a problem” if area bridges deteriorate to the point they can’t be used.
The latest draft of the SYIP and its impact on specific projects will be posted on VDOT’s website sometime prior to a Feb. 5 public hearing to be held at VDOT’s Central Office Auditorium in Richmond, according to Ekern’s letter. The hearing starts at 6 p.m.
The public comment period on the SYIP cuts ends Feb. 13.

The CTB is expected to adopt the final revision of the SYIP at its regular meeting Feb. 19.