Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has counted up some of the jobs and dollars his 2011 transportation plan brought to the commonwealth.
Economists with the Virginia Department of Transportation calculated that 10 projects in last year’s $4 billion transportation plan resulted in 3,700 construction jobs, $190.8 million in personal income and $14.8 million in state and local tax revenues.
“It’s also important to recognize the secondary or less quantifiable impacts of these particular road construction projects, in addition to the many others VDOT is managing,” Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said. “The money construction firms and their workers spend in a community during the project, on food, lodging and other goods, benefits others in the locales.”
The numbers come as the governor attempts to push his 2012 transportation plan, which hinges on redirecting sales tax revenues to transportation, through a General Assembly critical of the governor for not raising the gas tax or providing some other dedicated money to fix the state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
Critics say the governor’s 2011 plan, a mix of bonds and public-private partnership, needs to be followed by new streams of money to transportation, not just funds taken from other sections of the state’s budget.
The governor recently revised his 2012 plan, eliminating his idea for a new state agency to oversee toll roads.
McDonnell also amended a provision that would have dedicated 1 percent of general fund revenue to transportation in years when general fund growth exceeds 5 percent. The new provision dedicates that money when growth exceeds 8 percent — something that’s happened in 11 of the last 25 years, according to the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, a group critical of the governor’s plan.