Delegate Todd Pillion (R-Abingdon) and Delegate Israel O’Quinn (R-Bristol) released the following joint statement today in response to the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s vote to approve transportation projects in Virginia:
On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) voted to approve the first round of transportation projects that are part of a $1.7 billion investment to fund 163 projects. Among the approved projects are two that are critical to our region – the Exit 17 interchange and Exit 19 ramp improvements along I-81. As a whole, the Bristol district received approximately $8,926,000 in high priority funding, $76,241,000 in district grant program funding and $123,042,000 in state of good repair funding.
All projects were selected using the SMART SCALE process under HB 2 and are fully funded through all stages of development and construction. As required by law, projects are scored based on factors such as improved economic development, eased congestion, accessibility to jobs and environmental quality. Having qualified for funding under the High Priority Projects Program and the District Grant Program, both projects met the necessary scoring requirements.
In response to the approval, Delegate Todd Pillion, member of the House Transportation Committee stated, “This announcement is great news for Southwest Virginia. Since my election to the House, my colleagues and I have worked to reform the complex and often wasteful process of selecting and completing transportation projects. SMART SCALE is a major investment to address Virginia’s transportation needs based on merit and accountability. In addition to the major improvements to Exits 17 and 19, resources will be allocated throughout the district for projects and improvements to bridges and roads. Transportation was a key priority in my campaign and while I am pleased with the progress we have made, I will continue to be steadfast in my commitment to fighting for the people of our region.”
Delegate Israel O’Quinn added, "I was glad to see the Commonwealth Transportation Board approve some crucial and large scale projects for Southwest Virginia. Many of these projects have been on and off of the six year plan many times. The SMART SCALE process ensures that the approved projects are now funded and will proceed forward. Our Southwest Virginia legislative delegation understands how important transportation is to the overall infrastructure of our region and we spend a great deal of time working on those issues. We appreciate the working relationship we have with our regional VDOT staff and look forward to breaking ground on many important projects in the near future."
Tyler W. Lester
Delegate Todd E. Pillion
Virginia House of Delegates
Paid for & Authorized by Friends of Dr. Todd Pillion