Transportation & Infrastructure
Infrastructure is key to our nation’s economy and global competitiveness. Not only do investments in infrastructure support critical transportation needs, they are also an avenue for job creation and raise our platform for economic growth.
As Governor of Virginia, I made infrastructure funding a top priority and I'm proud of the progress we made in making Rail to Dulles a reality, securing federal funds for HOT lanes on the Beltway and I-95, installing a light-rail system in Norfolk, and expanding Amtrak service to Richmond and Hampton Roads while extending new service to Lynchburg and Roanoke. These are the kinds of investments that help our economy grow and thrive.
In Congress, a new long-term transportation bill has been long overdue. It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to starve transportation funding, pat ourselves on the back for being frugal, and then complain about traffic. I’m happy to report that in December 2015, both parties came together to pass the FAST Act, an overwhelmingly bipartisan 5-year transportation bill that bolsters investment in the nation’s highway and rail infrastructure. The Department of Transportation cites 3,574 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges in the Commonwealth and 77 hours per year - two full work weeks of hours - that the average Northern Virginia commuter spends sitting in traffic. The investments in the FAST Act will generate returns for the economy and commuters by saving gasoline not burned, work productivity not lost, and family time not missed from idling in traffic or waiting for delayed trains.
I was also pleased that several amendments advocated by Senator Warner and me were included – strengthening federal safety oversight authority over the D.C. Metro (WMATA), requiring federal members of the WMATA board to be appointed by the Department of Transportation and not an unrelated department, and creating a new investment source for nationally significant transportation assets like the structurally deficient Arlington Memorial Bridge. Maintaining our roads, bridges and rail systems will create jobs, improve the daily lives of Virginia commuters and pave the path to economic growth in the Commonwealth by investing in this common good, we can all find a better use for two weeks a year than sitting in traffic.
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