Budget impasse could delay hundreds of Va. road projects

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

RICHMOND, Va. – Road projects across Virginia could be in jeopardy because of an ongoing budget impasse.

The major dispute left in the $85 billion Virginia state budget is over $300 million in borrowing the Democrats want to use to mitigate tolls on the Dulles Toll Road.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has already started notifying contractors working on 473 construction and maintenance projects that work may have be halted May 1 if the budget impasse goes on much longer.

The contractors need two months lead time to wind down operations on any particular project and the current budget and authority to spend money will expire June 30.

Both the Senate and the House are set to vote on the budget Tuesday and House Speaker Bill Howell is predicting it will pass.

That budget does not include $300 million for Dulles Rail. The tolls are being used to finance the $2.7 billion phase two of the rail extension to Dulles Airport.

Some republicans are warning that if the $300 million for Dulles Rail is added to the budget, 40 other transportation projects would be delayed. The Washington Times reports that includes the long planned widening of Route 1 in Prince William County, as well as the interchage at Route 659/Belmont Ridge Road and the Battlefield Parkway extension in Loudoun County.

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