Transportation board releases draft 6-year program

Funding to widen stretches of Interstate 64 from Henrico to Goochland and money to begin preliminary engineering work to improve the Parham Road-Patterson Avenue intersection are included in the draft 2012-17 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) released by the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) this week.

The new SYIP includes more than 900 projects recommended for funding through Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation legislation adopted by the 2011 General Assembly and signed into law earlier this week.

The program would propose funding the widening 4.5 miles of I-64 east and west from Route 288 in Short Pump to the Route 623 interchange in Goochland County. Other local projects included in the funding proposal include:

• preliminary engineering and design for the relocation of 1.5 miles of Springfield Road between Nuckols Road and Staples Mill Road;

• the replacement of three Route 360 bridges over the Chickahominy River in Henrico and one in Hanover;

• widening Route 10 in Chesterfield from Ware Bottom Springs Road to Meadowville Road;

• engineering and design work to prepare for the widening of Route 360 in Hanover between Lee Davis Road and Walnut Grove Road;

• the replacement of the Route 609 bridge at Amelia/Powhatan line;

• widening Route 711 and replacing the bridge at the Chesterfield/Powhatan line. 

“Over the last several years, the Commonwealth Transportation Board has cut more than $4 billion from its program,” McDonnell said. “At the same time, our roads and bridges have continued to deteriorate and congestion and demand for alternative modes of transportation have continued to grow. Thanks to the bipartisan support of this year’s transportation package, we will make an upfront investment in restoring our transportation system and addressing these critical needs. This infusion of funds will help accelerate or complete the more than 900 projects I recommended as part of the package. These projects will benefit all regions of the Commonwealth, both rural and urban, and will help provide jobs for thousands of Virginians in desperate need of work without raising taxes.”

The draft SYIP consists of a construction program totaling $10.4 billion, with $8.1 billion for VDOT and $2.3 billion for the Department of Rail and Public Transportation. In addition to funding major interstate, public-privat, and mass transit projects, the SYIP also would fund needs on the primary, secondary and urban systems for the first time in several years. 

Funding for the transportation package includes $1.8 billion in Capital Project Revenue (CPR) Bonds, $1.1 billion of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) Bonds and $283 million for the capitalization of the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank funds (VTIB).  The CPR Bonds will be issued during the next three years, with $600 million in fiscal years 2011-2013. The GARVEE Bonds will also be issued during the next three fiscal years.

The CTB board will accept public comment on the plan during a public hearing May 18 at the Virginia Department of Transportation office located at 1221 East Broad Street in Richmond. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Following public hearings around the state, the CTB will vote on a final plan on June 15 for the July 1 fiscal year.
 
To view the draft SYIP, visit http://syip.virginiadot.org. For details about other CTB actions, visit http://www.ctb.virginia.gov/meetings.asp. For details about VDOT projects and programs, visit http://www.VirginiaDOT.org.
 
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New law will expand business development sites

The commonwealth, and especially its rural areas, may get an economic boost under legislation signed into law this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

At a ceremony with the legislation’s sponsors and the state’s secretary of commerce, McAuliffe signed two bills reducing the size of industrial sites that qualify for assistance from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
> Read more.

New law paves way for delivery robots

Having your groceries delivered by a robot sounds like something out of The Jetsons, but that prospect is not as futuristic as you may think.

For the second year in a row, the Virginia General Assembly has passed a law to legalize the operation of autonomous vehicles. Beginning July 1, “electric personal delivery devices” will be allowed to operate on sidewalks and other shared-use paths throughout Virginia.

> Read more.

Virginia schools soon must test for lead in water

With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, safe drinking water is a high priority nationwide, especially for children. Beginning July 1, schools in Virginia will be required to test their potable water for lead.

Senate Bill 1359, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on March 20, seeks to ensure that local school boards test the drinking water in schools and that it meets federal guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that the level of lead not exceed 15 parts per billion. > Read more.

Business in brief


The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) has announced its officers and Board of Directors for the 2017–18 fiscal year. At-large Board members include: Anne B. Hagen, CPA, of Masonic Home of Virginia in Henrico. The officers and directors were sworn in at the VSCPA’s annual business meeting on May 16 in Williamsburg. > Read more.

Free weekly 5k coming to Henrico

The Richmond metro area is no stranger to 5k races and events. To participate in most 5k events, runners must register and pay a fee. But the Parkrun organization will be providing Henrico County with a free 5k every Saturday at Deep Run Park starting June 3.

Parkrun began in England in 2004 and eventually found its way to the U.S.

The Deep Run Parkrun program will be the 10th one in the U.S., said Darrell Stanaford, the country manager for Parkrun USA. > Read more.

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Each month, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter conducts support group meetings to provide the community with an opportunity to meet for mutual support and to exchange coping skills. A group for caregivers will meet at 1 p.m. at Chickahominy YMCA, 5401 Whiteside Rd. For details, call 967-2580. Full text

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