Congressmen tell Va. to prioritize VDOT savings for BRAC improvements
Virginia's top Democrats -- U.S. Reps. James P. Moran and Gerald E. Connolly and Sens. Mark R. Warner and James Webb -- sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Robert McDonnell requesting uncommitted state transportation funds be used for Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) improvements.
"We have a large number of unfunded infrastructure requirements across Virginia, and BRAC-related challenges are some of the most pressing. We believe VDOT funds to improve access to BRAC-affected military installations in the Commonwealth would not only greatly alleviate anticipated congestion but also enhance economic development and demonstrate the state's willingness to remain a strong partner in our nation's defense," read the letter.
The legislators highlighted the need for road improvements to avoid major delays as 22,000 federal employees relocate to Fort Belvoir, the Mark Center and the Engineering Proving Ground.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in uncommitted state transportation funds were found in a September audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation. About $400 million was found in construction and maintenance accounts while an additional $654 million in federal money was never allocated to any projects, according to the audit.
The governor announced a $3 billion transportation plan last week that has come under fire from all sides of the General Assembly.
McDonnell's office responded to the Democrats' letter Tuesday afternoon.
"Virginia is one of the few states that has put a significant amount of money towards projects associated with BRAC relocations,'' McDonnell spokeswoman Taylor Thornley said. "In fact, Secretary Connaughton has sent a letter asking Virginia's Congressional delegation for ideas and suggestions in addition to our ongoing examination of how to best deal with the impact of BRAC relocations. We would appreciate it if the Congressmen would secure federal funding to support the needed infrastructure, which at this point they have not been able to do."
Read the full text of the letter here. (pdf)
| December 14, 2010; 2:17 PM ET
Categories: Alexandria, Christy Goodman, Fairfax County, Gerald E. Connolly, James P. Moran Jr., James Webb, Mark Warner, Transportation
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