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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $5.6 Million in Grants for Virginia Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs with safety improvements, bridge replacement and construction of bike/ped walkways

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced nearly $5.6 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Virginia, such as completing the final segment of a bike/pedestrian trail between Chincoteague, Assatateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and construction of a bike/pedestrian bridge over the Dulles Access and Toll Road (SR 267) from Wolf Trap National Park near Leesburg.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Virginia residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. – more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Virginia received funding for the following projects:

Safety improvements and construction of permanent security facilities at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry in Jamestown $1,950,000
Construction of bike/pedestrian bridge over Dulles Access and Toll Road (SR 267) in Leesburg $1,500,000
Installation of consistent signs along the 180-mile Journey Through Hallowed Grounds Scenic Byway $1,302,500
Completion of final segment of bike/pedestrian trail from Chincoteague to Assatateague Island National Seashore and to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge $728,000
Replacement of structurally deficient bridge on Towlston Road/Rt. 676 over Rocky Run in Dranesville $150,000
Virginia Department of Transportation to help prepare people for careers in highway construction $28,520
TOTAL $5,659,020

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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