Virginia officials aprrove new scoring process for road projects

PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — When you’re stuck in traffic, do you ever wonder why the state has spent tens of millions of dollars on derailed road projects, like the Route 460 corridor, instead of something to help get you moving?

Well, a new development will hopefully direct state funds toward the road projects that affect us the most. The Commonwealth Transportation Board just approved a new scoring process for transportation projects. It’s based on how they impact these six criteria:

  • Safety
  • Congestion
  • Accessibility
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental Quality
  • Land Use

“The intent really is to have the highest scored projects funded first, and if they aren’t, the Commonwealth Transportation Board must explain why it chose not to do so,” Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne told 10 On Your Side.

Projects in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia will score higher if they reduce congestion. Projects in other parts of the state will score higher if they increase economic development. So, Layne said, there is no bias based on population size.

“There has to be an associated return on the dollar spent, and that’s a great equalizer because, in many of the rural areas, right of way and things are much less expensive than are the urban areas,” Layne said.

The projects required to be scored include interstates, major primary roads and urban development areas.

Those doing the scoring will be from the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Projects will be scored through early next year. Those selected will be included in the next Six-Year Improvement Program, which will be adopted one year from now.

Current road projects are not included in this new scoring process. They will continue to be funded.

Also, projects paid for with federal safety dollars, and projects that rehabilitate aging pavements and bridges are exempted from scoring.

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