Somber Va. Roads Panel Cuts Almost $900M

Getty Images/David McNew

Virginia transportation officials cut almost $900 million from the state's master road building plan Thursday.

Forced by declining revenues from fuel and car sales taxes, the Commonwealth Transportation Board voted unanimously -- and grudgingly -- for the cuts. It's the fifth time in the past 18 months falling revenues have forced the board to slash road funding.

And it will bring the total of those cuts to the six-year plan $4.6 billion.

Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer said that's nearly an entire year's worth of highway money. Or, put another way, Virginia is trying to conduct six years of road building and maintenance on five years worth of revenue.

Board members were dour as they considered the cuts Wednesday. Member Dana Dickens of Suffolk said the state's highway funding model is not sustainable.

It was the last vote the board will take before Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell takes office next month from departing Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine. Kaine twice asked the General Assembly to boost fees and taxes to fund transportation. Twice, it refused. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us