2012-04-23: Virginia secretary of transportation Sean Connaughton says there will be no more major highway construction projects in the state without tolls. He was speaking in an interview with TOLLROADSnews Friday. He said the costs of major transport projects needed in the state are far beyond the capacity of the gasoline tax and federal grants to fund.
Virginia gone to financial close on $2.1b Norfolk crossings P3, compromises on toll timing, coverageBy Peter Samuel on April 20, 2012
Virginia and Elizabeth River Crossings LLC (Skanska & Macquarie) have gone to financial close on the huge $2.1b Norfolk-Plymouth P3 project that will see big improvements in mobility between Norfolk and points on the westside of the estuarial river including new expressway standard connections to Interstates. The financial close stymies late efforts by opportunistic politicians in the state legislature to stall and reshape the project.
Fairfax county has given the OK to Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail project the financing of which is 75% on the toll revenues of the Dulles Toll Road. A county board of 'supervisors' (councillors) meeting this week voted unanimously to confirm the County's participation in the estimated $2.7 billion second half of the project which has generated concern about whether $2 billion of toll revenue bonds are serviceable.
In Norfolk there's last minute pressure to defer a financial close on the Elizabeth River tunnels toll concession with the Macquarie/Skanska partnership. And in northern Virginia Fairfax County and Loudoun County are being pressed to defer support for Phase 2 of the Silver Line Metrorail project that is dependent for financing on Dulles Toll Road tolls.
A major legal challenge to the Dulles Toll Road's financing of a metro rail line moves into the US Court of Appeals with the filing of a closely argued brief by opponents. An American University law professor John Corr and a Loudoun county activist John Grigsby are the plaintiffs in the case against the Dulles Toll Road operator Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA or Em-wah as it is known locally).
The City of Chesapeake is launching another toll-financed highway upgrade - construction of a 4-lane high level bridge in place of a 2-lane low level lift-span for the US17/Dominion Boulevard at the Southern Branch of the estuarial Elizabeth River in Chesapeake VA. This is on the southwest fringe of the greater Norfolk/Hampton Roads metro area.
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he's urging state legislators not to appropriate another $150m for Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail project sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).
Virginia governor Bob McDonnell this week announced big progress on two major toll concessions: $1.7 billion of investment by Macquarie and Skanska to enhance three key tunnels under the estuarial Elizabeth River in Norfolk under a 58 year toll concession, and $843m in a 73 year toll concession deal with Transurban and Fluor to develop 29 miles,46km of toll express/bus lanes on I-95 in northern Virginia.
Rappahannock Parkway VA hit by bankruptcy of anchor museum, high level local opposition - letter revealedBy Peter Samuel on October 7, 2011
One of the anchor projects of the Celebrate Virginia development alongside the proposed Rappahannock Parkway tollroad - the National Slavery Museum - has filed for bankruptcy, and a letter has emerged indicating high level local opposition to the project. A National Slavery Museum on a prime 38 acres led by former Virginia Governor and mayor of the capital Richmond Douglas Wilder was announced amid fanfare ten years ago.
A local critic tells us the Rappahannock Parkway is a "scam" for the benefit of the area's largest developers, the Silver Companies. He says the traffic out to the southwest of Fredericksburg doesn't warrant such an expensive project, and that without the political patronage purchased by the Silver Companies the project would never be advancing as it is.