Running with the bulls in Pamplona. Skiing down a cliff face in the Rockies.
Sitting through a “Six Year Plan” hearing at Fairfax City Hall.
Not the same. However, a public hearing is a window into the arcane methodology of distributing VDOT funds, which essentially involves the Commonweath Transportation Board (or “CTB”) selecting projects for the SYP and then proceeding forward once critical funds are amassed.
Tonight, the CTB, headed by Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, presided over the hearing. Various local officials made their presentations. Most concentrated on completing existing project and trying (some way) to restore funds for local construction. Right now, for example, there is basically nothing allocated for secondary road funding, which is how localities make ordinary improvements such as repaving or adding sidewalks.
With the drastic reductions in new construction, there is not a lot to talk about. Here are some of the primary projects being funded (or to be funded) in the 34th Senate District over the next 2-3 years, assuming that funds are available.
$106M (existing) for constructing a new flyover at 66/495
$16M (existing and new) for improving access to Vienna Metro station
$1.5B (existing and new) for sound walls around 495
$120M (existing and new) for improvements to Gallows Road and Rte 29
These are major projects which directly impact the prosperity of Fairfax County. Each one requires years to gather the funds, begin engineering and then complete construction. It will take years. And it will never happen unless we have funds for new construction.