McDonnell announces new transportation initiatives

Local,Capital Land,Virginia,Transportation,Liz Essley

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced additions to a 2012 transportation agenda that he'll try to push through the state legislature in the face of Democrats' claims that his original roads plan was "dead on arrival."

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  • The new initiatives would create a new toll agency, reform existing transportation agencies and provide funding for road maintenance.

    The governor wants to create the Virginia Toll Road Authority to oversee the state's toll facilities that are now operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

    McDonnell also wants to enact reforms to the Virginia Port Authority, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority — codifying the expanded influence Virginia fought for on those boards.

    The governor also plans to sell naming rights of highways, interchanges and bridges to private companies, using the profits to pay for highway maintenance.

    McDonnell's original transportation plan, announced in December, would dedicate an additional 0.25 percent of sales tax to transportation every year. Democrats opposed the idea, saying it would take money away from other vital local services without providing enough dedicated money for roads.

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