I-81 Corridor Study Continues
In case you missed the Phase Two I-81 Corridor Study public meetings, you can still provide your input until Sept 30th.
Mail: ATTN: Ben Mannell
1401 E. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia 23219
There’s a lot of public interest in this study. VDOT received more than 400 online comments and several hundred citizens attended the Phase One meetings. Almost 15% of the public comments focused on the lack of enforcement – a response that we find encouraging, since better enforcement is such a sensible and affordable part of the solution.
At the Phase Two meetings, officials presented options to address the problem areas identified during Phase One. The solutions focused on three different areas:
- Corridor Operations Plan to better manage incidents along the corridor.
- Site-specific Capital Solutions
- Potential Funding Options including heavy commercial vehicle tolls, a regional fuels tax, and regional retail sales and use taxes.
The total cost for all the recommended capital improvements in the Staunton District is $1.0-1.6 billion. Total cost for the entire corridor is $3 billion.
Next, the study team will evaluate and prioritize potential capital projects and complete the economic analysis for funding. The third, and final, series of meetings will introduce recommended packages of improvements.
The next meeting in our area is October 17 from 4-7 PM at the Plecker Center at Blue Ridge Community College
Overall, we are encouraged by the study’s careful approach so far. The issues facing I-81 are complex, and they require a thoughtful, well-considered set of policy solutions. In the past, it’s been a one-size-fits-all widening plan, which simply won’t work here.
Be sure to submit your comments by September 30th!